Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Christmas Isn't

They say that it's the most wonderful time of the year.

This is true, but over the centuries, it is so far from what it is,

that it is hard to keep it what it is.

One thing that it's become and is not, is a Martha Stewart Christmas.

The one with the perfect decorations and coordinating wrapping paper & ribbons!

It's not about the perfect dinner with all the trimmings.
Like this Norman Rockwell painting.
It's not Hollywood or Hallmark idea of what it is.

It's not about Santa Clause or shopping until you drop. or maxing out your credit cards.

It's about a world in darkness and sin.
It's about a loving God and a promise of redemption.
It's about the greatest gift ever given
"God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"And there were shepheds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the lord. This will be a sign to you:You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angel had left them and gon into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Behtlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." Luke 2:8-18

"The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told," Luke 2:19-20

This is what Christmas is about,
a loving God,
a promise,
a hope. a future .

Now, I am not a shepherd, but I have heard and I have found the promise that was foretold so many years ago. Yet, like the shepherds, I will spread the word concerning what had been told about this child. I will tell of the promise of God who so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So I celebrate what happened in a manger and was completed on a cross.I too glorify and sing praises to God for His promise and His great gift!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Comfort Ye, comfort ye my people.......

"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people..... these were the word George Frideric Handel read from a manuscript that he received from Charles Jennens. The manuscript was a word-for-word collection of biblical texts about Christ, his life, death & resurrection.

On August 22, 1741, Handel closed the door of his home in London and started to compose music for the words. The results "Messiah", was written in twenty-three days. Trying to describe the experience, Handel later said, "Whether I was in the body or out of the body when I wrote it, I know not."

Have you ever listen to "Messiah", I mean really listened? I thought I had. After all, I was apart of the Chorus many years ago. What I realized was that I paid more attention to the breathing, notes, the coming in, other parts and the orchestra. The Hallelujah Chorus gave me a thrill and still does, but I never really paid attention to the complete work.

This past Sunday, my husband and I were blessed with tickets to "Messiah" at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Mich. First of all, the auditorium is spectacular and our seats where 8 rows from the stage! When we came in, we were given the music for the "Hallelujah Chorus" if we wanted to sing along. I was of course thrilled with that. The program showed the three parts with the title of the sections and the scriptures.


Comfort ye Isaiah 40:1-3
Every Valley Isaiah 40:4
And the Glory of the Lord Isaiah 40:5
Thus Saith the Lord Haggai 2:6-7
But Who may abide the Day of His coming Malachi 3:2
And He Shall Purify Malachi 3:3
Behold a Virgin shall conceive Isaiah 7:14 (Matthew 1:23)
O Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion Isaiah 40:9
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth Isaiah 60: 2,3
The people that walked in darkness Isaiah 9:2
For unto us a child is born Isaiah 9:6
There were shepherds abiding in the field Luke 2:8
And the Angel said unto them Luke 2:10,11
Suddenly there was with the Angel Luke 2:13
Glory to God Luke 2:14
Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion Zechariah 9:9 (Matthew 21:5)
Then shall the eye of the blind Isaiah 35:5,6
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd Isaiah 40:11 (Matthew 11:28,29)
His yoke is easy Matthew 11:30


Behold the Lamb of God John 1:29
He was despised Isaiah 53:3
Surely He hath born our griefs Isaiah 53:4,5
And with His stripes we are healed Isaiah 53:5b
All we like sheep have gone astray Isaiah 53:6
All they that see him laugh him to scorn Psalm 22:7
He trusted in God Psalm 22:8 (Matthew 27:43)
Thy rebuke has broken his heart Psalm 69:20
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow Lamentations 1:12
He was cut off out of the land of the living Isaiah 53:8b
But thou didst not leave his soul in hell Psalm 61:10 (Acts 2:27)
Lift up Ye heads, O ye gates Psalm 24:7-10
Unto which of the angels said He at anytime Hebrews 1:5 (Psalm 2:7)
Let all the angels of God worship Him Hebrews 1:6b
Thou art gone up on high Psalm 68:18 (Ephesians4:8)
The Lord gave the word Psalm68:11
How beautiful are the feet Romans 10:15 (Isaiah 52:7)
Their sound is gone out Romans 10:18 (Psalm 19:4)
Why do the nations
so furiously rage together? Psalm 2:1,2 (Acts 4:25-26)
Let us break their bonds asunder Psalm 2:3
He that dwelleth in Heaven Psalm 2:4
Thou shalt break them Psalm 2:9
Hallelujah Revelation 19:6
I know that my redeemer liveth Job 19:25,26
Since by man came death 1 Corinthian 15:21,22
Behold, I tell you a mystery 1 Corinthian 15:51,52
The trumpet shall sound 1Corinthian 15:52b-53
Then shall be brought to pass 1Corinthian 15: 54b (Isaiah 25:8)
O death where is thy sting? 1Corinthian 15:55-56 (Hosea 13:14)
But thanks be to God 1Corinthian 15:57
If God be for us Romans 8:31, 33, 34
Worthy is the Lamb Revelation 5:12, 13
Even though "Messiah" was written 268 years ago, it is still prevalent today. To hear the scriptures song was beyond words. My favorite song was "Worthy is the Lamb"
Revelation 5:12, 13 "In a loud voice they sang:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and
wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them singing:
"To him who sits on the throne and to
the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory
and power,
for ever and ever." "
But the best, the one that brought tears to my eyes and a pull on my heart........"AMEN"
Why, you may ask? Because of what Amen means. Amen is Hebrew for "So be it!"
So be it, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever." Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
So be it! So be it! so be it!
During this Christmas season, remember it's about the Messiah. I know He, my Redeemer, lives! Amen!