THE ABSENCE OF CLAMOUR

THERE WILL PROBABLY HAVE BEEN TIMES in your life when you’ve been able to say with the priest and poet, R S Thomas, that God comes

as I had always known
he would come, unannounced,
remarkable merely for the absence
of clamour. *

That’s so often how it is with the coming of God. Unannounced simplicity. No immediate expectation that we should behave in a particular way. No expectation that we should speak in an out-of-the-ordinary or convoluted theological language. No expectation that the “saving of souls” will make clearly defined or absolutist demands of human-kind, save for the Divine expectation of the God newly arrived in the back-streets of Bethlehem, that some one might pick up a Christ-child and hold Him close to their heart for to keep the little Chap warm.

This little Jesus teaches you and me how we are to be bridge-builders. This little Jesus is Pontifex — the bridge-maker, Emmanuel, God amongst us, the great High Priest, the Son of the Most High, the sacrifice or Christmas present of Almighty God Himself to His beloved world. This little Jesus is God come among us. We are to be little like Him. We are to be loved and we are to love. We are to be remarkable, at Christmas-time and through all time, for the absence of clamour; knowing that Christ leads His children on to the place where He has now gone. Home.

* Suddenly – R S Thomas, COLLECTED POEMS 1945-1990

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