Unable to have any children, Frances Chesterton,
the wife of G.K. Chesterton,
was deeply moved by the image of the Nativity,
and wrote poems depicting the Infant Jesus
for inclusion in their Christmas cards.
The best known of these is “How far is it to Bethlehem?”
Less well-known, “Here is the little door,”
written from the point of view of one of the Magi,
who is a stand-in for every believer.
It has been set to music, most famously by Herbert Howells.
"Here is the little door, lift up the latch; We need not wander more, but enter with our gift; Our gift of finest gold, Gold that was never bought nor sold;
Incense in clouds about his head;
Myrrh to be strewn about his bed; Myrrh for the honoured happy dead…..”
Epiphany, the feast of The Latch,
the latch, opening the way to the Infant Christ,
opening the door for the Magi to enter,
opening the door for us all who follow the star of faith
that leads us to Christ.
Epiphany challenges us to renew our commitment to God who became human
in the person and life of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
God has demonstrated beyond all doubt
how much He loves us and shares His life with us.
In the person and life of Jesus Christ,
God has embraced human nature completely and has become one with it.
The Feast of the Epiphany invites us to consider once again
the real meaning of Christmas, and to respond accordingly.
The feast invites us to ask ourselves:
what gift can we present to Jesus?
The most appropriate gift is striving to live a life ,
that reflects, manifests and imitates his teaching and example.
This is an ideal time to reflect on the practice of our Christian faith
so that, during the coming year,
we will ‘show’ the world the glory of the Saviour
who gives us life through his Church
and in the celebration of the Eucharist.
"And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East."