December 8, 2014

Advent Reflections: Immanuel

Immanuel (`immānū'el)
       (n.) God with us.          

I conclude it from your Word,
from your gestures of the past,
when you, hands cupped, limits set, gave rise
to all that is and was, so warm and wise.
You said "living" loud and "dying" low
and ever repeated: "Be."
But there came murder before the first death
And a sharp rip went through your circles so ripe
and a loud scream ran through
and tore the voices away
which had just assembled to speak
and talk about you and carry you high,
as bridge over any abyss.

And what they have been stammering since then
are but pieces
of your former name.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours

"'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' --which means, 'God with us.'" -Matthew 1:23

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