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A Little Christmas Cheer

Here’s one of my favourite versions of the Christmas story:

1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

– Revelations 12

Merry Christmas!

WK

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This entry was written by Will, posted on December 16, 2010 at 10:05 am, filed under Christianity and tagged , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Good King Wenceslas

This is one of my favourite carols. It’s a favourite because in its verse you find the legend of the Saint Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, better known in Czech as Svatý Václav. The act of giving and the miracle found within the song are deep, subtle, and wonderful.

95% of people out there don’t know more than the first verse, so may I present the whole of the carol, using DC Comics’ 2008 Holiday Special:

Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night, tho’ the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know’st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither:
Thou and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together;
Through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, good my page. Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.

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This entry was written by Will, posted on December 24, 2009 at 12:07 pm, filed under Christianity, Music and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Advent #6: Love

The last candle lit before Christmas Eve is the candle of love.

Love is one of those words that loses meaning far too quickly. We love wives and we love video games. To top it off, it sounds like a weak word. What’s the opposite of a badass? …A really loving person?

We don’t give power to love in our cultural consciousness as we should. We give power to money, things, ideas, people, memories, cultures – but love is not on the list. Even Christians, who profess a loving God, push for aligning power-structures and power-words with their faith (reason, prosperity, safety, fear) rather than champion love.

Love is a God who humbles himself to the level of his creation.
Love is a God who places himself in a marginalized group.
Love is a God who proclaims his own entrance into the world by including the excluded.
Love is a God who dies for those who hate him.
Love is a God who died for you.
Love is a God who gives us hope for peace and joy.
Love is a God seeking to bring everyone and everything home at all costs.

This is why Christmas is about Love.

WK

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This entry was written by Will, posted on December 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm, filed under Christianity and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Advent #5 – Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, The Christmas Song.

This is one of the most emotive Christmas (-y) Songs out there.

She was his girl; he was her boyfriend
She be his wife; take him as her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy
The wise men came three made their way
To shower him with love
While he lay in the hay
Shower him with love love love
Love love love
Love love is all around
Not very much of his childhood was known
Kept his mother Mary worried
Always out on his own
He met another Mary for a reasonable fee, less than
Reputable as known to be

His heart was full of love love love
Love love love
Love love is all around
When Jesus Christ was nailed to the his tree
Said “oh, Daddy-o I can see how it all soon will be
I came to she’d a little light on this darkening scene
Instead I fear I spill the blood of my children all around”

The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children all around
So the story goes, so I’m told
The people he knew were
Less than golden hearted
Gamblers and robbers
Drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers
Like you and me

Rumors insisited he soon would be
For his deviations
Taken into custody by the authorities
Less informed than he.
Drinkers and jokers. all soul searchers
Searching for love love love
Love love love
Love love is all around

Preparations were made
For his celebration day
He said “eat this bread and think of it as me
Drink this wine and dream it will be
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children all around”
The blood of our children all around

Father up above, why in all this anger do you fill
Me up with love
Fill me love love love
Love love love
Love love
And the blood of our children all around

WK

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This entry was written by Will, posted on December 15, 2009 at 9:01 pm, filed under Christianity, Culture, Music and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Advent #4: Joy

Christmases in my late teens are some of my fondest feelings of my entire life.

I feel odd talking about this time in life because I’ll end up talking about kittens, Rice Krispies, Care Bears, and babies to get my point across. That warm feeling that is far too rare in life is the only other way to describe these times of the year. The closest thing I can reason why these times are felt and remembered this way has to do with people, however briefly, in complete reconciliation with each other. If only for a few hours, 10-30 people around me become drama-free and seem to rise to a different level of human interaction and intimacy. As I begin to think it about, I miss it.

Part of God becoming man was to reconcile everyone to everything, or at least to start. God wants us to love to him, love each other, and love the world around us. That is the vision of the future that I caught in those times. C.S Lewis equates joy to that idea – he called it sensucht, a funny-sounding german word for that indescribable feeling of longing that isn’t necessarily bad, but a good longing. Feel me?

Lewis goes further to say that joy isn’t the end state, but the journey to the state. The joy of those Christmas memories is that it is a glimpse along the journey towards what the New Creation. And when that comes, we will have untainted knowledge and relationship with God, pursuing the greatest understanding of a fully unknowable God. That is the greatest joy.

And that, to me, is Christmas.

WK

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This entry was written by Will, posted on December 14, 2009 at 11:47 pm, filed under Christianity, Life and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

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