YHWH : Emmanuel

Consider this post a poetic cheat-sheet for how to really grasp the Christmas spirit. I share two great finds that, to me, say it all. Both are poems focused on names, and coincidentally, both are written by Englishmen.


n. also: "Yahweh"; the most common transliteration of the Hebrew tetragrammaton, the four-letter name for God, meaning something like "I AM" or "TO BE" or "IS"; see Exodus 3:14

This four-minute video by the YHWH Project is based on the poem titled YHWH by the British poet-performer Sh'maya. He performs the full poem live in this ten-minute video.



n. also: "Immanuel"; Hebrew title meaning "God is with us," which was the name assigned to the Jewish messiah who was to be born of a virgin; see Isaiah 7:14 & 8:8 and Matthew 1:24

The following is a sonnet by British poet-priest Malcolm Guite, from Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year.

O Emmanuel

O come, O come, and be our God-with-us,

O long-sought with-ness for a world without,

O Secret seed, O hidden spring of light.

Come to us Wisdom, come unspoken Name,

Come Root, and Key, and King, and holy Flame,

O Quickened little wick so tightly curled,

Be folded with us into time and place,

Unfold for us the mystery of grace

And make a womb of all this wounded world.

O heart of heaven beating in the earth,

O tiny hope within our hopelessness,

Come to be born, to bear us to our birth,

To touch a dying world with new-made hands

And make these rags of time our swaddling bands.


YHWH : Emmanuel = Christmas

Merry Christmas!