According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future
aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater
Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma
It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds
assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Rise Up Ye People Rejoice!" - Christmas Advent Songs & Choirs



Grace and Peace to you this and Every Christmas Season...


 [updated December 11, 2020]






O Holy Night – Carols from King's 2017
(YouTube mix)







Advent- Waiting in Silence




Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 2010 (Carols from King's)
(YouTube mix)







Hymnus VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS, Visione spartito, due versioni, SCHOLA
REGORIANA MEDIOLANENSIS, Dir. Giovanni Vianini, Milano, Italia
(YouTube mix)









Matthew 1

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

1 The [a]record of the genealogy of [b]Jesus the [c]Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered [d]Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, and Hezron fathered [e]Ram. 4 Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, and Nahshon fathered Salmon. 5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, and Obed fathered Jesse. 6 Jesse fathered David the king.

David fathered Solomon by [f]her who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, and Abijah fathered [g]Asa. 8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered [h]Joram, and Joram fathered Uzziah. 9 Uzziah fathered [i]Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, and Ahaz fathered Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered [j]Amon, and Amon fathered Josiah. 11 Josiah fathered [k]Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah fathered [l]Shealtiel, and Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel fathered [m]Abihud, Abihud fathered Eliakim, and Eliakim fathered Azor. 14 Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, and Achim fathered Eliud. 15 Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, and Matthan fathered Jacob. 16 Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the [n]Messiah.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the [o]Messiah, fourteen generations.


Conception and Birth of Jesus

18 Now the birth of Jesus the [p]Messiah was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [q]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, since he was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her, planned to [r]send her away secretly. 20 But when he had thought this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for [s]the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for [t]He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this [u]took place so that what was spoken by the Lord through [v]the prophet would be fulfilled: 23 “Behold, the virgin will [w]conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him [x]Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 [y]but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he named Him Jesus.


Rubens Adoration of the Magi (1609-1629) Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Matthew 2

The Visit of the Magi

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, [a]magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the [b]Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written [c]by [d]the prophet:

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For from you will come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the magi and determined from them the exact [e]time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went on their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child was to be found. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And after they came into the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary; and they fell down and [f]worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And after being warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.


The Escape to Egypt

13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.”

14 So [g]Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He [h]stayed there until the death of Herod; this happened so that what had been spoken by the Lord through [i]the prophet would be fulfilled: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”


Herod Slaughters Babies

16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent men and killed all the boys who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity [j]who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.”
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” 21 So [k]Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and settled in a city called Nazareth. This happened so that what was spoken through the prophets would be fulfilled: “He will be called a Nazarene.”



Luke 1

Introduction

1 Since many have undertaken to compile an account of the things [a]accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, 3 it seemed fitting to me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in an orderly sequence, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the [f]things you have been [g]taught.


John the Baptist’s Birth Foretold

5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of [h]Abijah; and he had a wife [i]from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 And yet they had no child, because Elizabeth was infertile, and they were both advanced in [j]years.

8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 Now an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zechariah was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear [k]gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall [l]name him John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice over his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit [m]while still in his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in her [n]years.” 19 The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who [o]stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

21 And meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple, and he repeatedly [p]made signs to them, and remained speechless. 23 When the days of his priestly service were concluded, he went back home.

24 Now after these days his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and she kept herself [q]in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among people.”

Jesus’ Birth Foretold

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin [r]betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the [s]descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was [t]Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord [u]is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and was pondering what kind of greeting this was. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 But Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I [v]am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the [w]holy Child will be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth herself has conceived a son in her old age, and [x]she who was called infertile is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the Lord’s bond-servant; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Now [y]at this time Mary set out and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And [z]how has it happened to me that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who [aa]believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her [ab]by the Lord.”

Christmas Worship Video: Magnificat Song of Mary


Mary’s Song: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said:
“My soul [ac]exalts the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has had regard for the humble state of His bond-servant;
For behold, from now on all generations will [ad]call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is to generation [ae]after generation
Toward those who fear Him.
51 He has done [af]mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the [ag]thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has given help to His servant Israel,
[ah]In remembrance of His mercy,
55 Just as He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his [ai]descendants forever.”
56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.


John the Baptist Is Born

57 Now the time [aj]had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had [ak]displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.

59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zechariah, [al]after his father. 60 And yet his mother responded and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 And they [am]made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a tablet and wrote [an]as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all amazed. 64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began speaking in praise of God. 65 And fear came on all those who lived around them; and all these matters were being talked about in the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah’s Prophecy

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying:
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David—
70 Just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times—
71 [ao]Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To show mercy to our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham,
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Would serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 And you, child, also will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
77 To give His people the knowledge of salvation
[ap]By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 Now the child grew and was becoming strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.




Luke 2

Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

2 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. 2 [b]This was the first census taken while [c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all the people were on their way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Now Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was [d]betrothed to him, and was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the [e]time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [f]manger, because there was no [g]room for them in the inn.

8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is [h]Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [i]manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly [j]army of angels praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among people [k]with whom He is pleased.”
15 When the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the [l]manger. 17 When they had seen Him, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it were amazed about the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Jesus Presented at the Temple

21 And when eight days were completed [m]so that it was time for His circumcision, He was also named Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the days for [n]their purification according to the Law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what has been stated in the Law of the Lord: “A pair of turtledoves or two young doves.”


25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s [o]Christ. 27 And he came [p]by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, [q]to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 “Now, Lord, You are letting Your bond-servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all the peoples:
32 A light for revelation [r]for the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and [s]rise of many in Israel, and as a sign to be [t]opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”



36 And there was a prophetess, [u]Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in [v]years and had lived with her husband for seven years after her [w]marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the temple grounds, serving night and day with fasts and prayers. 38 And at that very [x]moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak about Him to all those who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Return to Nazareth

39 And when His parents had completed everything in accordance with the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. 40 Now the Child continued to grow and to become strong, [y]increasing in wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.


Visit to Jerusalem

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up there according to the custom of the feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days required, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents were unaware of it. 44 Instead, they thought that He was somewhere in the caravan, and they went a day’s journey; and then they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When Joseph and Mary saw Him, they were bewildered; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You!” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s [z]house?” 50 And yet they on their part did not understand the statement which He had [aa]made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them; and His mother treasured all these [ab]things in her heart.

52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and [ac]stature, and in favor with God and people.



Michelangelo's Pieta - Mary and Jesus Statue




Libera - Angel (performed live at Universal Studios Japan)





The Value of Intellectural Humility when Studying the Bible and Listening to God

Intellectual Humility
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2012/12/24/intellectual-humility/
 
by Scot McKnight
Dec 24, 2012
Comments
 
What are the marks of intellectual humility? Where do you see it? What gives it away as present?
 
W. Jay Wood:
Philosophers known as “virtue epistemologists” claim that the goods of the intellectual life—knowledge, wisdom, understanding, etc.—are more easily obtained by persons possessing mature traits of intellectual character, such as open-mindedness, teachability, and intellectual courage, than by persons who lack these virtues or who are marked by their opposing vices. Here I focus on the virtue of “intellectual humility” and ask what relevance it has for the pursuit of scientific knowledge. I argue that intellectually humble scientists have a stronger likelihood of winning knowledge and other intellectual goods than those lacking this virtue. Intellectual humility leads indirectly to scientific insight. It does not super-charge our cognitive powers or improve scientific techniques, so much as it changes scientists themselves in ways that allow them to direct their abilities and practices in more effective ways.…
 
What makes humility intellectual humility, in contrast to the moral humility that suppresses our everyday desires to seek the spotlight? Intellectual virtues, including intellectual humility, are so designated because they are most obviously at work in our intellectual endeavors, in our research, writing, academic conferences, and in everyday forms of intellectual exchange, so that we might obtain intellectual goods—knowledge, understanding, warrant, etc. Intellectual humility opposes forms of pride such as undue concern to dominate others, or excessive resistance to criticism, which often frustrate our quest for the various intellectual goods.