By a strange quirk of the English language, the word "child" has few rhymes, and one of them is "mild."
That's what Father A. said in his sermon last Sunday. We won't bother printing the whole thing -- it wasn't that interesting -- but we do want to share this one thought:
And so our poetry and our Christmas carols are full of "mildness." The Virgin is mild, the baby is mild; mild he lays his glory by, mild this and mild that. But do you know what mild means? Inoffensive, placid, even boring. A cheese is mild when it has no flavor.
But the characters we sing about are nothing like this. Mary is bold, when she magnifies the Lord; Joseph is brave, when he defies convention and says Yes to the angel. Jesus is a hero when he goes into combat against sin and death, a savior when on the third day he emerges victorious. They are not mild; they are wild. That is the rhyme, and I wish our carols all used it. They are wild with courage, and obedience not to the letter of the Law but to the spirit of love and faith.
Five minutes later, we sang one of those "mild" hymns. Since then, we've sung a dozen or so more, and so have most Egg readers. But each time, over the past week, we've substituted "wild," and do you know what? It changes the song. One world -- one consonant -- reshapes the story, in a way that we can't help thinking is a bit more faithful to the evidence.
Try it tomorrow, if you get the chance.