Friday, 24 December 2010
from the Old Manse.
"…he who lies in the virgin’s lap is our Saviour…accept this and give thanks to God, who so loved you that he gave you a Saviour who is yours. And for a sign he sent the angel from heaven to proclaim him, in order that nothing else should be preached except that this child is the Saviour and far better than heaven and earth. Him, therefore, we should acknowledge and accept; confess him as our Saviour in every need, call upon him, and never doubt that he will save us from all misfortune. Amen."
Martin Luther, Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day
Luke 2:1-14, December 25, 1530
The pic is of the impressive interior of the dome of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. This church was jointly established by German (Lutheran) and English (Anglican) Evangelicals in the 19th century to proclaim the Gospel to the indigenous people of Palestine - an intriguing venture which had ramifications far beyond the Holy Land. It now belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, and we hope and pray, for the sake of the Palestinian people of Bethlehem, that the Gospel is still preached there. I can't decipher the Arabic script, but I think it may say 'Glory to God in the Highest...' If anyone can confirm, please do so via the combox. I think you'll agree the juxtaposition of the Arabic script with a Western vaulted ceiling is quite stunning.
[Pic courtesy James Emery http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/507901823/]