The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/31/1996):

"The Nativity"
This week, a quote and a Christmas poem from the pen of C.S. Lewis. First a
rather shocking quote:

I naturally LOATHE nearly all hymns; the face and life of the charwoman in
the next pew who revels in them, teach me that good taste in poetry or music
are NOT necessary to salvation." -- C.S. Lewis, in LETTERS OF C.S. LEWIS,
edited by W.H. Lewis, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,1975

[Lewis is obviously referring to a certain kind of sentimental hymn that
falls short of excellence when judged by literary and musical standards
alone, but which somehow God uses to touch the heart of the worshipper. This
certainly teaches us something about Christian deference. How quick we are
judge (whether it's thumbs-up or thumbs-down). How easy it is for us to say
"That song is anointed," or "That was not inspired," or anything else that
imposes our particular bias or preference on the question at hand.]

Now the poem, one which I heard at a recent children's Christmas program.

Among the oxen (like an ox I'm slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox's dullness might at length
Give me an ox's strength.

Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Saviour where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.

Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence.

- - C. S. Lewis, from POEMS, edited by Walter Hooper, Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich, 1977

Best wishes for a wonderful 1997. May God's richest blessings be yours.
Chip Stam