Monday, December 26, 2016

Joy To The World!

"Joy To The World" is a traditional and popular Christmas carol. The lyrics to the carol were first published in 1719. The music is attributed either to George Frideric Handel or Lowell Mason. In either case, the musical origins are likely from the late 18th/early 19th centuries.

Current performances of this carol reflect it's musical heritage. It is frequently sung by formal choirs with sopranos, altos, tenors and basses, or informal choirs made up of a group of friends or neighbors. The formal choir performances are often accompanied by orchestras. These performance characteristics expectedly imbue the carol with a 19th century feel. Though quite beautiful and stirring, these renditions are not exciting, in this writer's opinion.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Come, Come, Emmanuel!

The days leading up to Christmas are a time of reflection and anticipation for Christians around the globe.  Christians are looking forward to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In many ways Christians adults become child-like in their excitement. It's not the excitement of getting that new toy you asked Santa for, but an excitement for the joy and hope that Jesus brings into this fallen world. It's a mature excitement. It's a chance to reflect on the errors of the past year and to commit to start again, with a rebirth of Christian faith, hope and love.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Come Let Us Adore Him

Christmas is a time for joy and gifts. It's a time to enjoy the company of relatives and friends, especially if they live far from you. It's a time for a traditional Christmas turkey (or goose, or duck, or ham, or whatever you traditionally eat for Christmas). It's a time a children ripping open the wrappings of their gifts, to see what Santa gave them.

But for Christians, Christmas is oh so much more than that. It is one of the holiest times of the year. It's the time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our King. It's a time to reflect on the past year, good and bad. It's a time to look to the future, a rebirth of our commitment to Jesus.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

One Step Away

Temptations take many forms. Some are quite overt, as in viewing people as objects to satisfy our pleasures instead of as children of God, the sin of lust. Or, being so jealous of others and whatever they have, that we wish they would lose their material and/or spiritual gifts, the sin of envy. There is also wrath, flying into an uncontrolled rage to the extent of wishing or imposing physical harm on someone else.

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