Familiar or Fresh?

December 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

We are in those familiar times again.  The times of family and feasts.  It is a time ruled by customs and traditions.  We usually like Christmas the way we’ve done it before.  And yet, there is nothing familiar about the birth story in Luke 2:1-20.  As David Lose writes somewhere, “it’s a story that should not even have been noticed, let alone told again and again across millennium.”  After all, countless girls gave birth that evening.  Luke tells the story in an almost ironic way.  The point is exactly that this apparent insignificant happening somewhere around a manger takes place in the midst of the grand schemes of the politics of emperors and governors (2:1-3).  Against the power plays of life’s so-called “big stories” stands the vulnerability of a pregnant teenage girl.  And the irony is that it is the latter that would change the course of history in the most revolutionary way possible.  The Christmas story only breaks through its familiarity with new freshness if this core dynamic of Jesus’ birth is embodied in our lives.  God with us among the lowly and in the midst of apparent insignificant circumstances is exactly what Christmas is about.  How does this play out in your life this Christmas, and where else do you see Christ this Christmas?

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Christmas Classics #1

December 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah epitomizes for me the climax of our Christmas celebrations.  Here is a fun recording of it from Quinhagak, Alaska

Christmas Classics #2

December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

O Holy Night, performed at the Celtic Woman concert at Slane Castle in Ireland, starring Chloe Agnew.  This song is always my highlight on a Christmas Eve!

Christmas Classics #3

December 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

I know this one will be #1 on many people’s list.  Here is a performance of Silent Night by the Spanish tenor, Placido Domingo; the French tenor, Charles Aznavour; and the Norwegian soprano, Sissel

Christmas Classics #4

December 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Our #4 on our top 5 list of Christmas Classics is the King’s College Choir’s recording of O Come All Ye Faithful.

Christmas Classics #5

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Mari and I have put together our Top 5 list of classic Christmas music.  I will post a favorite recording of each of them over the next 3 days.  Here is our #5:  In The Bleak Midwinter, performed by The Choirboys.  Click on the “Leave a Comment” link above, and tell us about your Christmas favorites 🙂

The Story of Jonah

December 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Judy Slater sent me this cute video.  Click on the link below.  Preach little sister preach…! 🙂

http://vimeo.com/16404771

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