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Pastor David’s Blog

The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 12 – “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

This is day 12 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” written by Charles Wesley…sort of. I say this because the first line and the most memorable line was not actually written by him. George Whitfield, the famous 18th century British Evangelist, changed Wesley’s first line. Wesley originally wrote “Hark, how all the welkin rings.” “Welkin” is an old word…

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 11 – “All My Heart This Night Rejoices”

This is day 11 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “All My Heart This Night Rejoices.” This hymn was originally a German hymn written by the Lutheran Paul Gethardt. It was translated into English in the 1800s by Catherine Winkworth. This hymn may be new to some of you but it is glorious! The poem leads us from the birth of Jesus to the…

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 10 – “Joy to the World!”

This is day 10 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “Joy to the World” written by the famed 18th century hymn writer Isaac Watts. Watts never intended this to be a Christmas carol! He wrote it as a paraphrase of the last five verses of Psalm 98. Watts interpreted the psalm through the lens of Christ. Over time, Christians began to see this as…

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 9 – “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming”

This is day 9 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming.” This carol dates back to at least the 16th century in Germany – possibly even earlier. When it was first published it had 23 stanzas! Today, most renditions will have 3 to 5 of those stanzas. The five stanzas listed below were translated at various times in the…

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 8 – “What Child Is This?”

This is day 8 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “What Child Is This?” written by the British fellow William Dix in the 1800s. Many hymns in Britain were written by pastors during this time period but Dix is an exception. He managed a marine insurance company in Glasgow, Scotland and yet wrote tremendous Christian poetry. “What Child Is This” is one such example….

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 7 – “Wexford Carol”

This is day 7 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “Wexford Carol.” This carol originated in Ireland possibly as early as the 12th century! If that is the case, Christians have been singing a version of this carol for nearly 800 years. “Wexford Carol” is truly a folk hymn. The people of the British Isles sang it regularly but it was transcribed by the…

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 6 – “The First Noel”

This is day 6 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “The First Noel.” Right away we should note what the word “Noel” means. When you see the spelling “Noel,” it is French in origin. However, you will also see the spelling “Nowell” which is English in origin. In both cases the word finds its origin in the Latin “natilis” which means “birth.” Over time…

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 5 – “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

This is day 5 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” This hymn is attributed to several different individuals with none being certain. However, what is certain is that it was written in Latin and was translated by the Englishmen Frederick Oakeley in 1841. This hymn strikes a beautiful balance between the divinity of Christ and the humanity of Christ….

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 4 – “In the Bleak Midwinter ”

This is day 4 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “In the Bleak Midwinter” by the British poet Christina Rossetti – written in 1872. The music was composed by the famous composer Gustav Holst who is most well known for his orchestral suite “The Planets.” Rossetti’s poem starts with the scene of a hard, cold, winter warn earth. Many Christians have criticized this hymn,…

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The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 3 – “See Amid the Winter Snow.”

This is day 3 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here. Today I highlight for you “See Amid the Winter’s Snow” written by the British churchman Edward Caswall in 1858. In 1870 Sir John Goss wrote the music that is commonly sung with this hymn. Caswall’s poem is, in one sense, very simple. He focuses upon the birth of Jesus. We are drawn to the manger, to the shepherds who…

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