The significance of Christmas

4 years 4 months ago #3085 by Wescli Wardest
There is a song I like that comes around this time of year, “O Holy Night.”

It was first a French poem written around 1843, then set to music shortly after.

Placide Cappeau, the author of the French lyrics, was a wine merchant and poet. Although he was never particularly religious, Cappeau was asked to write a Christmas poem to celebrate the recent renovation of the church organ in his home town. As many may know, I believe that divine inspiration can be found in most anything and the divine can work through anything or anyone to inspire. When you look back you might be surprised to find just how many things we look to for divine inspiration did not come from one of the “church elite” or even someplace you might have expected. But I have diverged from the topic.

I do not speak French so I couldn’t begin to tell you how closely the English version mirrors what was originally written. But, in 1855 it was translated into English by Minister John Sullivan Dwight and still sung where I live today.

Many people know the first verse. Some know the third; often sang as the second. But the second verse is normally skipped over and even forgotten. I find this verse, the one often left out, gives Jesus a human, more obtainable presences and show our ability to have a personal relationship with him.

I will share all three verses…

1. O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

2. Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming;
With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand:
So, led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land,
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend;

He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! before him bend!

3. Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!

Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

You don’t have to have a personal relationship with God; but, he has one with you. Sure, he’s not your bosom buddy walking down the road talking about the game last night. He’s God. King of Kings. Alpha and Omega. And he loves you. Through Jesus he experienced life as we do. The good the bad, temptation, sorrow, happiness… all of it. Even death.

I could go on and on about the whole song; but, I will stop here and give others the opportunity to join in and comment.
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4 years 4 months ago #3086 by Serenity
If You Look for Me at Christmas…
Author Unknown

If you look for me at Christmas,
you won’t need a special star;
I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,
I’m right there where you are.

You may not be aware of Me
amid the celebrations.
You’ll have to look beyond the stores
and all the decorations.

But if you take a moment
from your list of things to do,
and listen to your heart, you’ll find
I’m waiting there for you.

You’re the one I want to be with,
you’re the reason that I came,
and you’ll find Me in the stillness,
as I’m whispering your name.

Love, Jesus
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4 years 4 months ago - 4 years 4 months ago #3087 by jzen
Replied by jzen on topic The significance of Christmas
I always loved the symbology if the 12 Days of Christmas. It developed at a time when Catholics were persecuted and they wanted to still teach the faith. I cannot attest to the veracity of the claim, but generally most Catholics believe it to be true. Here's what it all means:

The two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments

The three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The five golden rings rerepresented the first five books of the Old Testament, which describe man's fall into sin and the great love of God in sending a Savior.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience (Forbearance), Goodness (Kindness), Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty, Continency (Chastity).

The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Apostles.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles' Creed.

And the “partridge in a pear tree”? Jesus Christ as symbolically represented by a mother partridge protecting her helpless nestlings. Luke 13:34 recounts the words of Christ:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!
Last edit: 4 years 4 months ago by jzen.
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