Tell the nations that love has won

carillonChristine and I belong to a choir.  We have just held a number of Christmas concerts and we sang this carol among others. It starts with typical words about Christmas bells and “Peace on earth”.   The carol goes on to say:

“Tell the nations that love has won”

But then suddenly comes this verse:

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth”, I said,
“for hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on earth, goodwill to men”.

[Read more…]

Happy Christmas to my readers

Christmas carol singing

Christmas carol singing

What can I say about Christmas which hasn’t already been said? Probably nothing! Yet as we celebrate the birth of the most influential man who has ever lived, I do want you, who read this blog, to be really blessed and happy this Christmastime.

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How to receive gifts

Receiving

Every gift needs someone to accept it

Christmas is a time for giving but also a time for receiving. For every gift that is given, somebody has to receive the gift. The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive but that doesn’t mean receiving is unimportant. A part of the joy of giving a gift is seeing the response of the receiver. An ungracious receiver doesn’t bring joy to the giver.

Newtons third law of motion states that for every force there is an equal and opposite reaction. So every gift need somebody to receive it. In human terms, a gift can be offered which is not accepted, but for the transaction to be complete, the gift has to be received. [Read more…]

O Holy Night

Celine Dion performing "Taking Chances&qu...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Christmas carol is a favourite of mine and is unsurpassed in terms of melody and lyrics.Versions have been sung by Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Sara Groves, David Archuleta, Nat King Cole and many others (not forgetting the choir that Christine and I are a part of). Words vary a lot and verses are often omitted, but here is one version of the lyrics, along with my comments.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine. [Read more…]

It came upon a midnight clear

Sunset in Devon by George Dowdell

When I was in my teens, several things influenced and shaped my life. This carol was one of them. The angels were announcing the beginning of a new era which would affect every man, woman and child. The world would never be the same again!

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

The language is somewhat poetic but speaks of an event so significant that the angels just had to announce the birth of Jesus, the son of God. But the priests in the temple didn’t hear the angels. Herod in his palace didn’t hear them.  Only some simple shepherds heard the news, and heard the angels praising God that this event would have such a momentous effect which would eventually result in a peaceful world. [Read more…]

‘Tis the season for Giving

Flour distribution in Kenya

Christine and I have recently joined a local choir and have been preparing hard for a Christmas concert. The choir is a secular choir but many of the pieces we sing are ‘Christian’ in nature. One such song starts as follows:

‘Tis the season for giving,
‘Tis the season for joy,
‘Tis the season to celebrate life,
To stop and remember love. [Read more…]

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