The headlines on the news scream disaster, struggle, violence, and hatred.  The world stage is filled with uncertainty and anxiety about the future. Innocent people are slaughtered mercilessly; politicians rage at each other, and even the church seems filled with discord and division. Temptations to fear and despair close in from every side. I worry about the future. I worry about the world my children are growing up in. I wonder what type of society they will raise their own children in. I pray for our safety and our security. Most of all I pray for peace.  This Christmas, I find that it is the hauntingly beautiful ancient hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” that whispers peace and comfort into my anxious heart. It’s full lyrics read: Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in His hand, Christ our God to earth descendeth, Our full homage to demand. King of kings, yet born of Mary, As of old on earth He stood, Lord of lords, in human vesture, In the body and the blood; He will give to all the faithful His own self for heavenly food. Rank on rank the host of heaven Spreads its vanguard on the way, As the Light of light descendeth From the realms of endless day, That the powers of hell may vanish As the darkness clears away. At His feet the six wingèd seraph, Cherubim with sleepless eye, Veil their faces to the presence, As with ceaseless voice they cry: Alleluia, Alleluia Alleluia, Lord Most High!In meditating upon this hymn, which dates back as early as the third century, I find myself comforted once again by the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord – the mystery of Christmas. It is in this mystery that

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