Tag Archive | third day

Christmas Carols Grace Notes – 2

[This article was first posted on Dec 13, 2010.  Sharing it again, because the song is That good. Blessings!]

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Is the world listening to the carols of the season, ignoring them, or simply apathetic to their content?

How much more intense could the gospel message be, than to declare the sufferings of Jesus through concrete visuals like “nails…spear…pierce…and Cross?” Yet that’s what this modest, lilting, 17th century Celtic melody proclaims with bold lyrics penned by William Chatterton Dix (1865).

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What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and lamb are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

         Raise, raise a song on high,
         The virgin sings her lullaby.
         Joy, joy for Christ is born,
         The Babe, the Son of Mary.

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One reason the world doesn’t hear this gospel message is that many recording artists simply skip over the second stanza about Jesus’ suffering.   Perhaps they think the verse doesn’t lend itself to the joyful Christmas spirit.  Or maybe they don’t embrace its meaning..or the cross.

Thankfully, Third Day sings the entire song on their CD, Christmas Offerings.  I just uploaded their track of today’s carol in the music box so you can listen along, and worship, not just the Babe, but the Word made flesh and our King of Kings!

[Bebo Norman also sings a beautiful rendition of this, but, disappointedly, he omitted the crucial second stanza.  But I still love his testimony, voice and music, so I uploaded his version from the newly released CD, Christmas from the Realms of Glory (Extended Edition) . ]

No greater love

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

The Hallmark world of cards could never pen such love as expressed by God’s Word.  Cover to cover, God’s love is not only declared, but demonstrated through patience, kindness, goodness, mercy, grace, and the ultimate sacrifice of life. 

However, to my joy and surprise, I was blessed to find the depth and breadth of God’s love wonderfully expressed in a Dayspring card my mom just sent me for Valentine’s Day.  It encapsulates the message of God’s love in a beautiful and poetic way: 

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A Valentine may play a love song for you, but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe.

“The Lord you God..will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

A Valentine may give you flowers, but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus.

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley.”  Song of Songs 2:1

A Valentine may take you out to dinner, but God has invited you to the most amazing feast ever given.

“Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9

A Valentine may bring you chocolate, but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word.

“How sweet are you words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Psalm 119: 103

A Valentine may be far away, but God is always with you.

“I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20

A Valentine may give you something, but God has given you Everything.

“God..gives us richly all things to enjoy.” I Timothy 6:17

A Valentine may love you for a lifetime, but God loved you before you were born, and will love you for all eternity!

“Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love..with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3

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 I’ve added a Love Song to the Lord in the music box today, by Third Day.  This song compares the empty promises people make in the name of love, to the vast promises the Lord has fulfilled…because He loves us.  There IS no greater love…

 

Jesus' Love

 

 

 

Christmas Carols–Grace Notes

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining,’til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.”  O Holy Night

To me, Christmas Carols are the best part of the Christmas season.  I talked about it last year, HERE.  Many of the older Christmas songs are simply, yet profoundly, the truth of God’s Word set to music.  They serve as ‘notes’ or reminders, of God’s grace and goodwill toward all mankind, clothed in gentle and lovely music, to share the truth of Jesus Christ in times and places where preaching would never be received. 

So, until the New Year, I will post Christmas carols, some known, some not, to keep us me focused on the One whom angels sing, wise men seek, and shepherds kneel to worship.   One that brings me to my knees almost immediately is “O Holy Night,” written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau, a poet/wine merchant of Roquemaure, France.    [Learn some interesting historical background about this hymn HERE.]

O HOLY NIGHT!

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Til He appear’d 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! O hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
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 is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
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! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

 

 

Sing, worship, listen, and let the Lord minister His compassionate grace to you today.  And you may enjoy Third Day’s contemporary version from their Christmas Offerings CD, just uploaded in the Music Box to the right. [Fyi, if you dig a little deeper into the Box, you’ll find another version by Mercy Me uploaded last year.]

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

Call on the Lord

No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you are not alone.  The Lord Jesus longs to fellowship with you.  He is near to those who call on Him.  So, whatever you’re feeling today, whatever sorrow or joy occupies your mind and heart, He is near.  He listens and answers with perfect love!

I hope you’ll be blessed by watching and listening to Third Day’s newest hit song, “Call My Name”, from their CD, Revelation.  It reminds us to Call on the Lord and repeats the Psalmist’s hope:

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.”

Psalm 145:18,19