The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/25/2001):

"Christmas"
Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE is a short Christmas poem by Ulrich Schaffer. For me,
it powerfully amplifies the words of John 1:10, "He was in the world, and the
world was made through him, and the world did not know him."


CHRISTMAS

You still walk the streets,
our streets,
looking for a place to put your head,
still poorer than a bird in its nest.

You still knock
on the double-latched bolted-shut door
with Christians inside.

Christ, you are still discarded
and dropped in the wastebasket
of sometime or never.

Christ,
your chance is still slim
in our land of goodness and keep-smiling,
where we live by your ethics
without knowing you.
Proclaimed: teacher among teachers,
king among kings,
God among Gods,
one of the many ways to salvation,
take it or leave it.

Jesus, donít let me live outside of you,
outside of the heart of the world.
Smash down my locked door,
rest in my house
and sit at my table.
Let me be on your side,
drown me in your love.
Neglect the name and number that I am,
the address and place in or out of society
and break through to me
to release the weights
clinging to my hands and feet.

And love me into your love,
into your Christmas.

ó Ulrich Schaffer, in GREATER THAN OUR HEARTS: PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS,
Harper & Row Publishers, 1981.

[On this Christmas morning, Iím wondering if Iím bold enough to sincerely
pray, "smash down my locked door, rest in my house, and sit at my table." I
realize that that kind of closeness to Jesus will surely include some times
when I need to remember his words, "For I was hungry, and you gave me
something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and
you invited me in; naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I
was in prison and you came to me" (Matthew 25:31-46).

Lord, drown me in your love, a love that will go that far.]

"O come, let us adore him . . .."
Merry Christmas,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky
www.carlstam.org
www.sbts.edu