Mississippi Delta Christmas

December 25, 2015

Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

MISSISSIPPI DELTA CHRISTMAS
By Jill Woodliff

‘Emmanuel’ the organ pipes blare.
‘God is love’ is in the air.
The lakes resound God’s good news
As words of praise fill the pews.
Swamps and rivers clap their hand,
In homage to God o’ our land.
Sycamores raise high their arms
As songs of joy fill the farms.
Pine needles join in the dance
As angels ‘cross their boughs do prance.

Glory to God in underground cisterns,
Glory to God in rows and furrows,
Glory to God in cumulus and cirrus,
Glory to God in tractors and harrows,
Glory to God, O Delta land.

Time, and times, and half a time
Gloria Deus rightly chime,
Glory today, Glory tomorrow,
Glory, O ancient days of sorrow,
Christ has come to save!


At Chimham’s Inn in Bethlehem

December 24, 2015

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Darkness reigned in Palestine.
Souls were wild and fearful.
Herod ruled in Palestine
(Terrorized and tearful).

Caesar ordered through the land
Registration for each man.
David’s lineage to uphold,
Joseph walked toward the untold.

Displaced, weary, tremulous,
Mary carried Jesus mild,
In her womb an unborn child–
Holiness and tenderness.

Rachel’s tomb brought mem’ries fresh
Of Mary’s womb of fragile flesh.
Joseph sought a refuge stay
Like David asked of Barzillai.

As Noah’s ark upon the flood,
The stable rose above the press.
The animals beheld a birth
And Hope was placed in courteous creche.

Multitudes of heavenly hosts,
To David’s son, the newborn king,
“Glory to God Most High!
Peace, good will towards men!” did sing.

Star and rainbow, cov’nants new,
Heavenly portents, angels too,
Give honor, glory, blessing true,
To Him to whom all praise is due.

By Jill Woodliff

Note on the title:  In 2 Samuel 19, King David wants to reward Barzillai the Gileadite for providing the king with food while he was in exile during Absalom’s revolt. David offers to include Barzillai in his court in Jerusalem. Barzillai declines because of his great age, but sends Chimham in his stead.

On his deathbed, David instructs Solomon to show kindness to the sons of Barzillai (1 Kings 2:7).  Four centuries later, reference is made to Chimham’s lodging place in Bethlehem (Jeremiah 41:17).  It has been supposed that, considering the stationary character of Eastern institutions, it was in the stable of this inn that Jesus was born.


Advent Music: Fantastic Rendition of Veni Veni Emmanuel (The Gesualdo Six)

December 5, 2015

Thanks to @StBarnabasMusic  who tweeted this wonderful version of Veni Veni Emmanuel earlier this week.  It is by the British group The Gesualdo Six.

Just Stunning.  As you’re listening, thank the Father that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, and invite Jesus to come near, filling your heart with more of His Spirit, more of His light and life.

If you are a lover of sacred choral music, I HIGHLY recommend following @StBarnabasMusic on Twitter.  I’ve discovered some beautiful selections through their tweets, especially during the major liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent & Easter.


Advent Prayer: May we be ready to meet Him at His Second Advent

December 4, 2015

O Almighty Father, fountain of light and salvation, we adore thine infinite goodness in sending thy only begotten Son into the world that, believing in him, we may not perish but have everlasting life; and we pray thee that, through the grace of his first advent to save the world, we may be made ready to meet him at his second advent to judge the world; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bishop William Walsham How (1823-1897)

H/T The Rev. Kendall Harmon, at TitusOneNine

 


Advent Quotes: Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Waiting until he inclines himself toward us

December 3, 2015

waiting on God

“Not everyone can wait: neither the sated nor the satisfied nor those without respect can wait. The only ones who can wait are people who carry restlessness around with them and people who look up with reverence to the greatest in the world. Thus Advent can be celebrated only by those whose souls give them no peace, who know they are poor and incomplete, and who sense something of the greatness that is supposed to come, before which they can only bow in humble timidity, waiting until he inclines himself toward us – the Holy One himself, God in the child in the manger. God is coming; the Lord Jesus is coming; Christmas is coming. Rejoice O Christendom.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

via Patrick Comerford’s blog and his Dec 2 Advent Devotional

image credit:  Joe Quatrone, Jr.


Excellent FREE Advent Music from Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC

December 2, 2015

I’ve fallen in love with a new Advent song from the Worship team at the downtown parish of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City.

They’ve got an album availble called Permanent City

Permanent City cover art

 

I’ve fallen in love with the song In Silence.

You can learn about the album and listen to samples here

You can download it for FREE at Bandcamp:

 


Advent Quotes: John Piper – Souls overwhelmed by the condescension of God

December 2, 2015

Click!

“The only people whose soul can truly magnify the Lord

are people like Elizabeth and Mary — people who acknowledge

their lowly estate and are overwhelmed

by the condescension of the magnificent God.

from John Piper’s excellent Advent devotional on the Magnificat

Art Credit: Web Gallery of Art. Mariotto Albertinelli.  Visitation, 1503. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


%d bloggers like this: