Hush! Hush! A Cry is heard.

In Paul's letter to the Philippians he quotes an ancient hymn exhorting the hearers to practice humility like Christ:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
   who, though he was in the form of God
Did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
But emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness,
And being found in human form,
   He humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death -
   even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name,
So that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord
   to the glory of God the Father.
         Philippians 2:5-11

These evocative words have inspired volumes of theological reflection on the doctrine of the incarnation, specifically the idea of 'kenosis' - that God's acts of creation and incarnation are acts of self-emptying. God's love is inherently humble, expending itself on behalf of the beloved in such a way that new life springs abundantly from the result. Before the beginning of the universe and in the first cries of the newborn Christ we see prefigured, the willingness of God to sacrifice himself for the sake of the World, and therefore the very path of eternal life which leads us away from violence and warfare. If we can take on ourselves the mind of Christ which is humble, we will abandon our participation in the machinery of domination. Worshiping the Christ child means laying down our claims of power, even the power over our own lives and being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. That is what it means if a baby embodies the Word.

A hymnal version is available in pdf form below. A longer, fully arranged choir version is available on request.

Hush! Hush! A cry is heard.

 

 

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Last modified 18 April, 2014