Not As an Angel reclaims Christmas for adults as the feast of the incarnation, vocalising the sense of spiritual revelation that people of faith experience in unexpected moments. The fourth line of each stanza, emphasised as the climax of the music, is the focal point of the lyric, affirming the unique incarnational and spiritual moments of experiencing divinity.
The penultimate stanza recalls 1 Kings 20. A “chance meeting where the road divides” alludes to the Road to Emmaus story in Luke. The “naked song of a mother’s joy” refers to the Magnificat. The mustard seed image recalls the famous Kingdom parable. Azure is used in art as the symbolic colour of heaven.
This piece has also been used without music as a Christmas poem.
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