Tag Archives: Advent

This is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown

24 Dec

Luke 2: 1-19 (King James Version)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

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Carnival of Christmas 08

24 Dec

Over at CatHouse Chat, Sister Kat has outdone herself with the 2008 Carnival of Christmas.

It’s a wonderful collection of Christmas memories, recipes, traditions and meditations from around the blogosphere.

Pour yourself a cup of egg nog and spend some time checking it out. You can wrap those presents later.

Or not.

Congratulations Kat on a beautiful and inspiring Carnival of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all.

One Season, One Reason – December 24

24 Dec

A Savior is Born

Scripture for Today

Luke 2:1-7
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

From the splendor of Heaven, this Christ who has existed with God through all eternity came to be born in the squalor and stench of a stable. He came to a parental lineage that surely drew raised eyebrows from neighbors and families, and was born under the threat of a deranged king seeking to have him slaughtered.

Yet he came.

His life on this earth would not be easy, and His final week would be the most horrific of all, suffering pain, and abuse and ultimately death.

Yet he came.

Hymn for Today

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Text: Edmund H. Sears, 1810-1876
Music: Richard Storrs Willis, 1819-1900

It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
from heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heavenly music floats
o’er all the weary world;
above its sad and lowly plains,
they bend on hovering wing,
and ever o’er its Babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophet seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world send back the song
which now the angels sing.

NOTE: Previous hymns in this series have been sourced from CyberHymnal.org. As of the writing of this post, that site is down. Hopefully the issue will be resolved soon.

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin
December 17 – He is the Light of the World
December 18 – The Good News
December 19 – He Came to Save the World
December 20 – The Righteous Branch
December 21 – The Virgin Birth
December 22 – The Angel’s Prophecy
December 23 – Mary’s Song

One Season, One Reason – December 23

23 Dec

Mary’s Song

Scripture for Today

Luke 1:39-56
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

From The Book of Common Prayer: Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord:
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded :
the lowliness of his handmaiden.

For behold, from henceforth :
all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath magnified me :
and holy is his Name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him :
throughout all generations.

He hath shewed strength with his arm :
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat :
and hath exalted the humble and meek.

He hath filled the hungry with good things :
and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel :
as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

Hymn for Today

O What Shall I Do, My Savior to Praise

Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1742.
Music: Hanover, attributed to William Croft, in The Supplement to the New Version of Psalms, by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, 6th edition, 1708

O what shall I do my Savior to praise,
So faithful and true, so plenteous in grace,
So strong to deliver, So good to redeem
The weakest believer that hangs upon Him!

How happy the man whose heart is set free,
The people that can be joyful in thee!
Their joy is to walk in the light of thy face,
And still they are talking of Jesus’ grace.

Their daily delight shall be in Thy Name;
They shall as their right Thy righteousness claim;
Thy righteousness wearing, and cleansed by Thy blood,
Bold shall they appear in the presence of God.

For Thou art their Boast, their Glory and Power;
And I also trust to see the glad hour,
My soul’s new creation, a life from the dead,
The day of salvation, that lifts up my head.

For Jesus, my Lord, is now my Defense;
I trust in His Word, none plucks me from thence;
Since I have found favor, He all things will do;
My King and my Savior shall make me anew.

Yes, Lord, I shall see the bliss of Thine own,
Thy secret to me shall soon be made known;
For sorrow and sadness I joy shall receive,
And share in the gladness of all that believe.

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin
December 17 – He is the Light of the World
December 18 – The Good News
December 19 – He Came to Save the World
December 20 – The Righteous Branch
December 21 – The Virgin Birth
December 22 – The Angel’s Prophecy

One Season, One Reason – December 22

22 Dec

The Angel’s Prophecy

Scripture for Today

Luke 1:18-23

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias and announced the coming birth of John the Baptist, it signaled a renewed hope for God’s people. Long they had waited for the Messiah. Gabriel appeared to Zacharias in the temple. Being old, Zacharias could not accept the thought of he and his wife Elizabeth bearing a child. Because of his disbelief, Gabriel told Zacharias he would not speak until the child was born.

The child Elizabeth was carrying was John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for the ministry of Jesus.

Hymn for Today

Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

Words: Johannes G. Olearius, Geistliche SingeKunst (Leipzig, Germany: 1671) (Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben); translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, Chorale Book for England, 1863. Olearius wrote this hymn for St. John the Bap­tist’s Day (June 24).
Music: Werde Munter, Johann Schop, 1642

Comfort, comfort ye My people,
Speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning ’neath their sorrow’s load;
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover,
And her warfare now is over.

For the herald’s voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Bidding all men to repentance,
Since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet Him,
And the hills bow down to greet Him.

Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
Blotting out each dark misdeed;
All that well deserved His anger
He will no more see nor heed.
She has suffered many a day,
Now her griefs have passed away,
God will change her pining sadness
Into ever springing gladness.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
Make the rougher places plain:
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits His holy reign,
For the glory of the Lord
Now o’er the earth is shed abroad,
And all flesh shall see the token
That His Word is never broken.

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin
December 17 – He is the Light of the World
December 18 – The Good News
December 19 – He Came to Save the World
December 20 – The Righteous Branch
December 21 – The Virgin Birth

One Season, One Reason – December 21

21 Dec

The Virgin Birth

Scripture for Today

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:13-23
And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

The understanding of the Virgin Birth is key to the understanding of who Jesus is. He was both fully God and fully man. Only through the miracle of the virgin birth could this be possible. The virgin birth was the means by which Christ entered in this world being fully human, but completely sinless. He did not bear the sin of Adam.

Hymn for Today

From God the Father, Virgin Born

Words: Unknown author, written between the 10th and 13th Centuries (A Patre Unigenitus); translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale, St. Margaret’s Hymnal, 1875, alt.
Music: Deus Tuorum Militum, Grenoble Antiphoner, 1753

From God the Father, virgin-born
To us the only Son came down;
By death the font to consecrate,
The faithful to regenerate.

Beginning from His home on high
In human flesh He came to die;
Creation by His death restored,
And shed new joys of life abroad.

Glide on, O glorious Sun, and bring
The gift of healing on Your wing;
To every dull and clouded sense
The clearness of Your light dispense.

Abide with us, O Lord, we pray;
The gloom of darkness chase away;
Your work of healing, Lord, begin,
And take away the stain of sin.

Lord, once You came to earth’s domain
And, we believe, shall come again;
Be with us on the battlefield,
From every harm Your people shield.

To You, O Lord, all glory be
For this Your blest epiphany;
To God Whom all His hosts adore,
And Holy Spirit evermore.

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin
December 17 – He is the Light of the World
December 18 – The Good News
December 19 – He Came to Save the World
December 20 – The Righteous Branch

One Season, One Reason – December 20

20 Dec

The Righteous Branch

Scripture Reading for Today

Isaiah 42:6-7
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isaiah 11:1
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Matthew 1:1
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 1:16-17
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

As promised, Christ came in the world through the line of David, a son of Jesse.
God promised David that his Kingdom would last forever – and that through him and his seed God would save his people and bless the world. When the Christ Child came, the Royal Family of David was in a low place. Early in his ministry Jesus made it clear that his kingdom was not of this world. Jesus was raised up as a righteous branch for the redemption of Israel.

Hymn for Today

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Words: Edward Perronet
Music: Coronation, Oliver Holden; Also Diadem, James Ellor

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.

[ John Rippon add¬ed this verse in 1787]

O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin
December 17 – He is the Light of the World
December 18 – The Good News
December 19 – He Came to Save the World

One Season, One Reason – December 19

19 Dec

He Came to Save the World

Scripture Reading for Today

John 3:13-18
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:16 is perhaps the most memorized verse in Scripture. Contained with in that verse is the gospel message. God gave His only son for you, for me. And whoever believes will have eternal life. It’s that simple. It’s that beautiful.

Herein lies the story of the Christ Child. Herein lies the story of the manger. Herein lies the story of the cross, and beyond the cross, the empty tomb.

Hymn for Today

Good Christian Men, Rejoice

Words: Heinrich Suso (?-1366); translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale in Carols for Christmastide (London: 1853). Folklore has it that Suso, hearing angels sing these words, joined them in a dance of worship.
Music: In Dulci Jubilo, 14th Century German melody; harmony from Christmas Carols Old and New, 1871

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before Him bow; and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened the heavenly door, and man is blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin
December 17 – He is the Light of the World
December 18 – The Good News

One Season, One Reason – December 18

18 Dec

The Good News

Scripture Reading for Today

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Luke: 4:14-21
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Following his fasting and temptation in the desert Jesus returned and began to teach. He tells the people that indeed he has come to preach the gospel, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, sight to the blind. This is his mission, this is his reason for being on earth. And through him the scripture as foretold in Isaiah is being fulfilled.

And now, as He did, we share the gospel truth. We spread the gospel light. This now, is our mission.

Hymn for the Day

Send the Gospel Light

Words: Fanny Crosby, 1899.
Music: Ira D. Sankey

Send the Light, oh, send it quickly
Far across the heaving main;
Speed the news of full salvation,
Thro’ a dear Redeemer’s Name.

Refrain

Send the Light, oh, send it quickly
To the isles beyond the sea;
Let them hear the wondrous story—
Love is boundless, grace is free!

Send the Light, where souls are dying
In their darkness, gloom, and night;
Haste, oh haste! the days are fleeting,
And the hours—how swift their flight.

Refrain

Send the Light—the Lord commands it!
To His Holy Word attend:
“Go ye forth and preach My Gospel;
Lo! I’m with you to the end.”

Refrain

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin
December 17 – He is the Light of the World

One Season, One Reason – December 17

17 Dec

He is the Light of the World

Scripture Readings for Today

Isaiah 42:6-7
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Luke 1:67-79
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

John 8:12
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The following excerpt from St. Augustine’s treatise on the Gospel of John (Tract. 34, 8-9; CCL 36, 315-316) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the 4th Sunday in Lent. The corresponding biblical reading is Leviticus 8:1-17; 9:22-24) Source

The Lord tells us: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. In these few words he gives a command and makes a promise. Let us do what he commands so that we may not blush to covet what he promises and to hear him say on the day of judgement: “I laid down certain conditions for obtaining my promises. Have you fulfilled them?” If you say: “What did you command, Lord our God?” he will tell you: “I commanded you to follow me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life. What life, if not the life about which it is written: With you is the fountain of life?”

Let us do now what he commands. Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord. Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following him. Who can throw off these shackles without the aid of the one addressed in these words: You have broken my chains? Another psalm says of him: The Lord frees those in chains, the Lord raises up the downcast.

Those who have been freed and raised up follow the light. The light they follow speaks to them: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness. The Lord gives light to the blind. Brethren, that light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith. His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind. We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth; we need him to give us light. He mixed saliva with earth, and so it was prophesied: Truth has sprung up from the earth. He himself has said: I am the way, the truth and the life.

We shall be in possession of the truth when we see face to face. This is his promise to us. Who would dare to hope for something that God in his goodness did not choose to promise or bestow?

We shall see face to face. The Apostle says: Now I know in part, now obscurely through a mirror, but then face to face. John the Apostle says in one of his letters: Dearly beloved, we are now children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. We know that when he is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. This is a great promise.

If you love me, follow me. “I do love you”, you protest, “but how do I follow you?” If the Lord your God said to you: “I am the truth and the life”, in your desire for truth, in your love for life, you would certainly ask him to show you the way to reach them. You would say to yourself: “Truth is a great reality, life is a great reality; if only it were possible for my soul to find them!”

Hymn for Today

Eternal Beam of Light Divine
Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739.
Music: Angels’ Song, Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

Eternal Beam of light divine,
Fountain of unexhausted love,
In Whom the Father’s glories shine
Through earth beneath, and Heaven above;

Jesu, the weary wanderer’s rest,
Give me Thy easy yoke to bear,
With steadfast patience arm my breast,
With spotless love, and lowly fear.

Thankful I take the cup from Thee,
Prepared and mingled by Thy skill,
Though bitter to the taste it be,
Powerful the wounded soul to heal.

Be Thou, O Rock of ages, nigh!
So shall each murmuring thought be gone,
And grief, and fear, and care, shall fly,
As clouds before the mid-day sun.

Speak to my warring passions, “Peace!”
Say to my trembling heart, “Be still!”
Thy power my strength and fortress is,
For all things serve Thy sovereign will.

O death! where is thy sting? Where now
Thy boasted victory, O grave?
Who shall contend with God? or who
Can hurt whom God delights to save?

Previous Posts
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last

December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin