Posts belonging to Category Christmas

“The ordinary so extraordinary” by Madeleine L’Engle

Here is a wonderful Christmas poem by Madeleine L’Engle:

“The ordinary so extraordinary”

He came, quietly impossible,
Out of a young girl’s womb,
A love as amazingly marvelous
As his bursting from the tomb.

This child was fully human,
This child was wholly God.
The hands of All Love fashioned him
Of mortal flesh and bone and blood,

The ordinary so extraordinary
The stars shook in the sky
As the Lord of all the universe
Was born to live, to love, to die.

He came, quietly impossible:
Nothing will ever be the same:
Jesus, the Light of every heart—
The God we know by Name.

L’Engle, Madeleine. Miracle on 10th Street (p. 65). The Crown Publishing Group.

A Christmas Sonnet by William Leighton

Here is a wonderful poem and theological reflection by William Leighton (1841–1869) on the incarnation of Jesus as the infinite God-man at Christmas.

“Great Son of God, but born the son of man”

Great Son of God, but born the son of man,
One subject of a double substance framed:
Wherein nor manhood lost, nor godhead won
But of them both at once one Christ was named.

Before all times begot, in time created,
The Lord of Lords, a servant form retaining,
And yet no former form thereby abated:
In servant’s form, the form of God remaining.

Great Son of God, than whom there is no greater
No not the Father in His great divinity,
As God creator and as man a creature:
(For more and less, agree not in infinity.)

Teach me to know how man by God assumed
Is both, and yet not man by God consumed.

William Leighton (1841–1869) was a Scottish poet who died of typhoid fever when he was twenty-eight years old. His family moved to England when he was seven years old. He began writing poetry at a young age and was an active member of several literary societies. A number of his poems were published in local literary papers while he was still living, and several collections of his poems were published in the 1870’s following his death. A complete edition of The Poems of William Leighton was published in 1890. (Source: Dictionary of National Biography/Wikisourse)

Home for Christmas series

Our new Advent Message series is called Home for Christmas.
You can read the various messages at the links below.

Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas Series
1) Banished – Genesis 3:21-24
2) Wandering – Genesis 4:10-16
3) Longing – Psalm 137:1-9
4) Home – John 1:1-2, 14

Five Candles at Christmas

Here are the links to all five messages in the Five Candles at Christmas series exploring the various themes of Christmas represented by the five candles of the Advent Wreath. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and may God bless you richly in the New Year.

Five Candles at Christmas (An Advent Wreath Sermon Series)
1. The Advent Candle of Hope – Matthew 1:22-23
2. The Advent Candle of Peace – Luke 2:13-14
3. The Advent Candle of Joy – Luke 2:8-12
4. The Advent Candle of Love – Matthew 1:18-21
5. The Christ Candle – Luke 2:1-7
Click here for more Christmas messages.
Click here to go to the Sermons page.

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 12/3/2017

Sunday was the first message from the Five Candles at Christmas series exploring the various themes of Christmas represented by the five candles of the Advent Wreath. The message was called The Advent Candle of Hope, taken from Matthew 1:22-23. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Hope in Christ gets you through the waiting
  – Genesis 2:16,17, 3:15, 12:2-3; Isaiah 7:14
II. Hope in Christ helps you go the distance
  – Numbers 24:17; Isaiah 60:3; Matthew 2:1-2, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
III. Hope in Christ does not disappoint
  – Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 2:5-7, 25-32, 36-38; Romans 5:5, 8:23-25, 10:11
Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

A Christmas Message from Proverbs

Ever read a Christmas message from the book of Proverbs? Now you can! (It’s short.)

Hope Deferred … A Longing Fulfilled (Proverbs 13:12)

Merry Christmas!

Click here for more Christmas messages.
Click here to go to the Sermons page.

Love Came Down at Christmas

Here’s the link to this year’s Christmas Eve message, Love Came Down, a very simple message taken from 1 John 4:7-10. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Love comes from God (verses 7-8)

II. Love came down to earth (verse 9)

III. Love came down to the cross (verse 10)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

And here is a great Christina Rossetti poem by the same name:

“Love Came Down at Christmas” – Christina Rossetti

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Come and Stand Amazed, You People!

I discovered a new (old) Christmas carol this year! This is a medieval Dutch carol, based on a translation by Klaas Hart (1906-1973). The words dig deep into the mystery and miracle of Christmas. Merry Christmas, and enjoy!

Come and Stand Amazed, You People

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.

And here are some modern renderings of the carol on YouTube:

Come and Stand Amazed – Eternity Focus (Video length: 3:48)

Come and Stand Amazed – Citizens (cover) (Video length: 2:28)

A Happy Star Trek Christmas!

I love Star Trek, and I love Christmas, so this one is a no-brainer for me!

Picard – Make it So – Let It Snow (Video length: 2:29)

Related post: Darth Vader Plays a Mean Harmonica

Recommended Gifts and Resources for Christmas:

Ruth – A Christmas Story Series

Here are links to all the messages in the Ruth – A Christmas Story series. Enjoy!

Ruth - A Christmas Story

The Nativity by C. S. Lewis

I love this poem by C. S. Lewis:

Among the oxen (like an ox I’m slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox’s dullness might at length
Give me an ox’s strength.

Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Savior where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.

Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence!

Click here for more Christmas posts.

Recommended Gifts and Resources for Christmas:

Christmas in a Word Series

This week I will be sharing a seven-part devotional called Christmas in a Word. I hope you enjoy the series and invite you to read along each day in preparation for Christmas. I will update this post daily with the links to each devotional so if you join in late you can read the whole series in order. God bless, and Merry Christmas!

Christmas in a Word Series
    1. The God Who Speaks
    2. God’s Good Gift of Speech
    3. God’s Continued Promise of the Savior
    4. The Long Silence
    5. The Silence is Broken
    6. The Word Became Flesh
    7. Christmas in a Word