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Archive for December 19th, 2021

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end

Isaiah 9:6-7

This is the week!

Not just Christmas, but, for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, the darkest day of the year is this week. Therefore, we can now look forward to days gradually getting longer, filled with more light.

It is not lost on me that we begin to see the days lengthen during the week of Christ’s birth, the week following the fourth advent Sunday … when the JOY candle is lit and we celebrate that One who brings. who is hope, peace and love.

unto us a Child is born

Six words, that changed the world. The promise from Isaiah that was anticipated centuries before the arrival of the king of kings in a humble stable, to humble parents, in humble circumstances.

This babe, the gift and Son of the God of creation … born so that we might not die to eternity, but that we might have the hope of the presence of the spirit of peace, that we might know and be known by love himself.

There is no other song that can produce the experience of joy like Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee. Though Beethoven, in his creation of his 9th Symphony, never knew of the lyrics Henry van Dyke would construct when he wrote Joyful, Joyful we Adore Thee, he did know of the original poem, written by german poet, Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. It is the final stanza that, I believe, may have inspired both Beethoven and van Dyke:

Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving father.
Do you fall in worship, you millions?
World, do you know your creator?
Seek Him in the heavens;
Above the stars must he dwell.

May we, this day, everyday, know the joy of the child who will lift us to the joy divine.

Ode to Joy (Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee)

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.

Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!

Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.

Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.

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