Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Advent|Dec.25th ~Celebrating our Rescuer's Coming!

Sarah & I would like to share with you one of our "first" traditions (if we can call it a tradition yet). We decided to get an Advent calendar for our Christmas season! 1. Because I don't remember the last time I ever went through an Advent calendar 2. Because it's cool and we live in Seattle 3. Because it's biblical (thought I should add this one). We are celebrating Advent, because the word means "coming," and reminds Sarah & I of the best "coming" there ever was! The arrival of our Rescuer, Jesus Christ!

December 25th! Day 25! Christmas Day!

In the middle of Christmas, somewhere between breakfast and gift giving, Sarah and I were able to read through Luke's account of Jesus' birth as a whole. It was great to see the whole story unfold once again, and to remember why we celebrate Christmas: Jesus!

What stood out to both of us, probably because we both love music a lot, was the singing involved. Apparently there may have been more singing then the text says, as some believe Mary's words of praise, Zechariah's prophecy and Simeon's blessing were actually sung. If this was true, couple those songs together with the angelic host singing of Jesus' birth and you have a good deal of singing in Jesus' birth account.

Doesn't this make sense though? Jesus was coming to rescue mankind from their sin! Why would this not be sung about? Who could stop the praise from happening? Heaven was breaking into the world that we know, and why not break in with music and singing? Why not create in hearts a new song? Why not give men a song to sing about for ages and ages to come?

Have you noticed that Christmas is probably the only time that the world begins to sing. They may not always be singing about Christ and His coming (often times it's about Santa and his reindeer), but this is one of the only times people "sing in" the holiday. The same is just not the case for other holidays such as Thanksgiving, Halloween (All Hollow's Eve), Easter and others.

And the songs continue to be written. We sing hymn after hymn of Christmas music. We have artists creating new Christmas songs. We have old hymns done in a new way. In many of these hymns there are amazing words! So, on the last day of Advent I thought it would be fitting to share the words of one of our most favorite Christmas songs, words that tell of all that Jesus' coming accomplished!

O Holy Night

....Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

...The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger;

In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother.
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

...Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

You can listen to Folk Angel's rendition of this song HERE.

If you're into history like I am you will find the original poem most encouraging and powerful. Below is the English translation of "Midnight Christians" from the French poet Placide Cappeau (1808-1877), the words to which "O Holy Night" is adapted from.

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God as man descended unto us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.
People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
May the ardent light of our Faith
Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Guided the Oriental kings there.
The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,
It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
The Redeemer has broken every bond:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

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