Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Worth a Listen: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

There are some “Chrsitmas” songs that I don’t mind listening too/singing throughout the year  – though we may celebrate once a year, the reality of Christmas is with us everyday.  So, with that in mind, do yourself a favor and listen to this version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”  by Josh Garrels & Trace Bundy.  Especially listen (or start around 2:45) – great stuff!

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Mac Giving Tree

Mac Giving Tree by MacHeist

Christmas Prayer/Pastoral Prayer

I prayed this as part of the pastoral prayer at Calvary yesterday:

King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
We bow our hearts and heads before you this morning.
As Christmas nears, we pray for a sense of wonder
a sense of amazement at the way that you have chosen to enter into our sin-sick, wicked, and depraved world.
Heavenly Father, this Christmas we pray for:
The faith of Mary to trust your Sovereign will
The steadfastness of Joseph, though we may not understand your ways.
The wonder of the Shepherds who received the most amazing news
The endurance of the wise men, who journeyed from afar to give their gifts
The voice of a multitude of angels, to sing “Glory to God in the highest”

Father, in you, what once was an overwhelming flood of our guilt and sin, has become the ocean of your grace.  In Christ, born of Mary, suffering the pains of this world, and death on a Cross – we find our life.  Amidst all that we face this Christmas season:  uncertainty, guilt, loneliness, debt, disappointment, despair, grief….Would  you cause your star to rise, that once again we might follow, to see our King born to give us new life, new birth.

Christmas Prayer

Come and stand amazed, you people,
see how God is reconciled!
See his plans of love accomplished,
see his gift, this newborn child.
See the Mighty, weak and tender,
see the Word who now is mute.
See the Sovereign without splendor,
see the Fullness destitute;
the Beloved, whom we covet,
in a state of low repute.
See how humankind received him;
see him wrapped in swaddling bands,
who as Lord of all creation
rules the wind by his commands.
See him lying in a manger
without sign of reasoning;
Word of God to flesh surrendered,
he is wisdom’s crown, our King.
See how tender our Defender
at whose birth the angels sing.
O Lord Jesus, God incarnate,
who assumed this humble form,
counsel me and let my wishes
to your perfect will conform.
Light of life, dispel my darkness,
let your frailty strengthen me;
let your meekness give me boldness,
let your burden set me free;
let your sadness give me gladness,
let your death be life for me. Amen.

Source:  Worship Sourcebook (an indispenable resource for worship planning)

2 Christmas Limericks (Original)

At the dinner table tonight my mind began to think in verse…Lydia asked me if I was writing a limerick.  I was not, but then we began discussing the form of a limerick.  This is the result – two limericks (one fun and one serious):

The Christmas time is coming so nigh
Our children’s energy level so so high
Not long they might explode
Whats come of our abode?
Christmas please come, before we all die

Young Jesus was laid in a manger
Exposed in a world full of danger
He was born for the cross
Sinful shame now my loss
This babe welcomes me; once a stranger

(Lydia helped me with a few of the lines)

“Wonder of All Wonders”

This comes to me by way of the Worship Quote of the Week.  This is a great poem for Christmas written by Timothy Dudley-Smith.

WONDER OF ALL WONDERS!

Wonder of all wonders!
that Christ should lay aside his crown
and to a fallen world come down,
and in a stable bleak and bare
should choose our human life to share,
and all for love,
for God is Love.

Wonder of all wonders!
that he to whom by right belongs
the praises heard in angels’ songs
should be the child the shepherds saw,
the Lamb of God amidst the straw,
and all for love,
for God is Love.

Wonder of all wonders!
that clear upon the cloudless skies
a star should shine to lead the wise,
whose myrrh and frankincense and gold
a kingly sacrifice foretold,
and all for love,
for God is Love.

Wonder of all wonders!
this child within the cattle stall
is he who died to save us all;
the risen Lord whom Mary bore,
whose life is ours for evermore,
and all for love,
for God is Love.

— Timothy Dudley-Smith, a carol for Christmas 2007, © 2007 Hope Publishing Company

Advent

Here’s an online advent calendar

Here is something I wrote for our church to describe Advent…

What is Advent?
Advent is a period of four weeks (or part of four weeks) leading up to Christmas, in which we anticipate the coming of Christ.  The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming, arrival”.  There are many ways to celebrate Advent, such as using an Advent calendar and/or an Advent wreath (see below) as we are using in our Worship Services. The purpose of Advent is to help focus our attention upon Christ and His coming and this is increasingly more and more important in our fast-paced consumer culture.  Advent is both about celebration and anticipation.  We celebrate the Incarnation (John 1:14 – “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”) and we anticipate the Second Coming of Christ our King.  We need both elements to steady us during our “Pilgrim Days”  – reminding us of the Truth of God’s Work amongst us and in us through Christ and the promise to bring about the full consummation of God’s Kingdom.

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