The Gift of Gifts

Merry Christmas! In honor of the birth of Jesus, here is a wonderful prayer from a book that has become one of my favorites, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett.

O source of all good,
What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts,
  thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
  my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
  his self-emptying incomprehensible,
  his infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.
Herein is wonder of wonders:
  he came below to raise me above,
  was born like me that I might become like him.
Herein is love;
 when I cannot rise to him he draws near on
  wings of grace,
 to raise me to himself.
Herein is power;
 when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
 he united them in indissoluble unity,
  the uncreated and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
 when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
 and no intellect to devise recovery,
 he came, God-incarnate, to save me
  to the uttermost
 as man to die my death,
 to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
 to work out a perfect righteousness for me.
O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
  and enlarge my mind;
 let me hear good tidings of great joy,
  and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
  my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
  my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
 place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
  to look with them upon my Redeemer's face,
  and in him account myself delivered from sin;
 let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child
  to my heart,
 embrace him with undying faith,
 exulting that he is mine and I am his.
In him thou hast given me so much
  that heaven can give no more.

– Puritan prayer, from The Valley of Vision

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