Advent, Day 1: Wonder

For each day of the first week of Advent I will publish one art-and-song pairing as an invitation for seasonal reflection.

LOOK: Francisco Collantes (Spanish, 1599–1656), Winter Landscape with the Adoration of the Shepherds, 1630–50. Oil on canvas, 72.2 × 105.7 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid. (Click on image to zoom in.)

Collantes, Francisco_Winter Landscape with the Adoration of the Shepherds

LISTEN: “Wonder (Advent)” | Words by Pedro de la Cruz | Music by Colleen Nixon | Performed by Marian Grace (Colleen Nixon and Jimmy Mitchell), on In the Bleak Midwinter, 2013

O blessed Mary and dearest Joseph
Allow me to journey with you
To Bethlehem
I am a lowly pilgrim making my way
To the center of history
The birth of Christ the Lord
With unspeakable awe and expectant wonder
I long to behold
I long to behold
I long to behold
The promised Messiah
Time will stand still forever
Divided by the entry
Of the Creator into his creation

“To a Snowflake” by Francis Thompson

Snowflake
Photo © 2013 Eric James Jones/ArtandTheology.org

“To a Snowflake” by Francis Thompson

What heart could have thought you?—
Past our devisal
(O filigree petal!)
Fashioned so purely,
Fragilely, surely,
From what Paradisal
Imagineless metal,
Too costly for cost?
Who hammered you, wrought you,
From argentine vapor?—
“God was my shaper.
Passing surmisal,
He hammered, He wrought me,
From curled silver vapor,
To lust of His mind—
Thou could’st not have thought me!
So purely, so palely,
Tinily, surely,
Mightily, frailly,
Insculped and embossed,
With His hammer of wind,
And His graver of frost.”

This poem was originally published in New Poems by Francis Thompson (London, 1897) and is now in the public domain.