Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.

Lucinda Franks quote explanation

This quote beautifully captures the imagery and symbolism associated with the traditional Christmas story, particularly the biblical narrative of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

“Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream” sets the scene by referring to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, and characterizing it as an ancient dream. This phrase conveys the timeless and enduring nature of the Christmas story, which has been passed down through generations and has become a cherished part of cultural and religious traditions.

The description “a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star” evokes the classic image of the Star of Bethlehem, a celestial sign said to have guided the wise men or magi to the location of Jesus’ birth. The contrast between the cold, clear night and the brilliance of the star creates a vivid and magical atmosphere.

“The smell of incense” adds sensory detail to the scene, evoking the ritualistic and sacred nature of the occasion. Incense is often associated with religious ceremonies, and its mention contributes to the ambiance of reverence and spirituality.

“Shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby” references key figures from the biblical narrative. The shepherds and wise men are central characters who, according to Christian tradition, were among the first to witness and honor the newborn Jesus. The act of falling to their knees symbolizes reverence and awe in the presence of something divine.

“The incarnation of perfect love” is a theological concept emphasizing that, in Christian belief, Jesus is the incarnation of God’s love for humanity. The use of the term “perfect love” suggests an unparalleled and unconditional love embodied in the form of the baby Jesus.

In summary, this quote paints a rich and evocative picture of the Christmas story in Bethlehem, drawing on the timeless elements of the narrative and emphasizing the profound themes of love, adoration, and the sacredness of the occasion.

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