Twas the Night Jesus Came

Twas the night Jesus came and all through the town, Not a person would guess The Messiah came down. The earth gave no warning to speak God’s intent But this magical night I would never forget.

The streets were all busy with strangers from far; No time to hear singing or see the bright star. As my young friends and I kept our watch o’er the flock We had no idea we’d soon get a shock.

When out of the darkness there rose such a light, I sprang from the hilltop to gaze at the sight. An angel came shining as bright as noon-day, More fearsome and brilliant than I’ve words to say.

At first he said, softly, “There’s no need to fear.” Which I found hard to do since this host first appeared, But he said, “Be of Joy! I bring you great news! Your Savior is born, there is no time to lose.”

i-am-the-light-of-the-world“This babe wrapped in cloths has no crib for his bed, But rests his sweet head in a feed-trough instead.” And then other angels, more than I can know, Rejoiced through the dark with their songs and their glow.

Like millions of stars dancing down to the earth, They lifted their voices in praise of his birth- Singing, “Glory to God.” Through the stillness of night “and peace to all men,” then they flew out of sight.

It didn’t take long to break out of our shock. We ran down the hill leaving our field and flock, And found the sweet baby inside a damp cave, But could this be Christ – the whole world to save?

The donkeys and horses had left a foul smell. The straw was all muddy, the manger as well. But everything was as the angel had said, A babe wrapped in cloths in a crude manger bed.

Then I know – it was clear. Where else would he be? The Teacher and Healer to make the blind see. The Savior who’d carry the sins of us all, Where else would show love than an old cattle stall?

This baby, The Christ, would clean up all our messes. He’d take on our curses and give us His blessings. So as I adored Him, God’s Son, the true Light, God seemed to be whisp’ring to all a “good night”

copyright 2009 Pepper D. Basham

Twas the Night Jesus Came – A Christmas Poem

Merry Christmas everyone! Blessings to you and your family.

May you all know the joy of the true reason for this season – the Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Twas the Night Jesus Came

Twas the night Jesus came and all through the town,

Not a person would guess The Messiah came down.

The earth gave no warning to speak God’s intent

But this magical night I would never forget.

The streets were all busy with strangers from far;

No time to hear singing or see the bright star.

As my young friends and I kept our watch o’er the flock

We had no idea we’d soon get a shock.

When out of the darkness there rose such a light,

I sprang from the hilltop to gaze at the sight.

An angel came shining as bright as noon-day,

More fearsome and brilliant than I’ve words to say.

At first he said, softly, “There’s no need to fear.”

Which I found hard to do since this host first appeared,

But he said, “Be of Joy! I bring you great news!

Your Savior is born, there is no time to lose.”

“This babe wrapped in cloths has no crib for his bed,

But rests his sweet head in a feed-trough instead.”

And then other angels, more than I can know,

Rejoiced through the dark with their songs and their glow.

Like millions of stars dancing down to the earth,

They lifted their voices in praise of his birth-

Singing, “Glory to God.” Through the stillness of night

“and peace to all men,” then they flew out of sight.

It didn’t take long to break out of our shock.

We ran down the hill leaving our field and flock,

And found the sweet baby inside a damp cave,

But could this be Christ – the whole world to save?

The donkeys and horses had left a foul smell.

The straw was all muddy, the manger as well.

But everything was as the angel had said,

A babe wrapped in cloths in a crude manger bed.

Then I know – it was clear. Where else would he be?

The Teacher and Healer to make the blind see.

The Savior who’d carry the sins of us all,

Where else would show love than an old cattle stall?

This baby, The Christ, would clean up all our messes.

He’d take on our curses and give us His blessings.

So as I adored Him, God’s Son, the true Light,

God seemed to be whisp’ring to all a “good night”

copyright 2009   Pepper D. Basham

 

The After-Christmas blues?

I stare out my dining room window this morning, watching as snowflakes dance and twirl to the frosted ground. Just me, a tall glass of chocolate milk, my computer, a darkened dining room, and the light from the framed winter wonderland.

 It’s the day after Christmas. My children are still sleeping, my husband is off to give the final touches to his sermon, and I’m listening to Christmas music. Thinking. Wondering.

Many people find December 26 a very somber day. Did they get their heart’s desire for Christmas? Who never came  home for Christmas? Who was missing around the Christmas tree? Amidst the bright lights and snowfall, how many tears went unnoticed?

I have hope for you. For me.

Emmanuel.

God with us.

The greatest gift, the one you can never out-use, out-grow, overextend, break, never runs out of batteries, never needs new parts, doesn’t go out of style, and only increases in value the longer you possess it.

Even when spots are empty around the Christmas tree, our hearts never have to be empty again.

All because, Jesus came.

He is the reason why the spirit of Christmas can be held all through the year.

Blessings,

Christmas Wishes from my Family to Yours

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

God came wrapped in the flesh of a human child so that humans can become children of God.

YES, Christmas is all about Family.

May you unwrap the gift of God’s love this Christmas and revel in the Father’s grace.

Love,

Dwight, Pepper, Ben, Aaron, Lydia, Samuel, & Phoebe

In the Beginning…Christmas

Have you ever thought about the authors of the Bible? Of course the main author is God, but through his inspiration, men wrote these amazing words that we read today. As the Christmas season comes to us, our family is studying the book of John. It isn’t the gospel usually chosen to introduce the Christ-child to the world this time of year, but it gives an amazing glimpse into God’s eternal plan.

John 1:1-5

 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Any part of this sound familiar? If you’ve read Genesis 1:1, it should ring a bell – and it was done ON PURPOSE!! A great literary tool, and John’s way of getting the Jews attention. He was saying “This is from Your history – Your God. It was a plan from the dawn of time, not some afterthought God had.”

Exactly, God the Son (Jesus) who was with God in the beginning – the Creator of all things, came to Earth. The motif continues. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

Just as God ‘spoke’ his words to create light into the chaos of creation, God’s very Word – the essence of who He is, was born to bring light into this darkened world.

This should amaze us, humble us, and spurn us to unwrap the greatest gift of Christmas. The first Christmas gift ever given to the world – Jesus. The Light of the World.

To read more, visit my post on The Writers Alley on Monday, Dec 20 – Rewriting Christmas Traditions.

Blessings,

Christ in the Carols – Angels We Have Heard on High

This is easily one of my favorite Christmas carols. I know, I know – I seem to say that a lot, but there are so many to like!

One reason this one appeals to me so much, is because it feels like you ought to dance when you sing it. (okay, for me anyway). I want to toss my hands up into the air like King David and dance around praising God. That certainly doesn’t fit the vision of Victorian carolers in their hats and scarves singing in perfect harmony, does it?

Some interesting things come from the study of this particular carol.

1. Most of the melody and text are taken from an 18th century French carol (or so most historians agree)

2. The chorus of this carol, however, is much older. Gloria in excelsis Deo – can be traced back very far. In fact, it’s word for word Scripture – from what the angels sang to the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth. Some believe singing this particular phrase can be dated back to the 3rd century. WOW! Just imagine people that close to Jesus’ death singing the very same words we sing today. We ARE all one body of Christ 🙂

another interesting fact about this carol is that there are two different versions. I just learned the second (and newer) – which seems to be more British. Let me list them both so you can enjoy the difference. It’s a wonderful carol that tells a wonderful story through song.

VERSION ONE

1. Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Refrain

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

2. Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song? Refrain

3. Come to Bethlehem and see
Him1 whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Refrain

4. See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.2 Refrain

VERSION TWO

1. Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.

Refrain

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

2. Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What great brightness did you see?
What glad tidings did you hear? Refrain

3. Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Refrain

4. See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love. Refrain

So, do you have a favorite version?

What fabulous words? Thanks to www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com for the words and some info.

thanks to www.worshiphousemedia for the awesome pics. I LOVE The last one.

Christ in the Carols – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Over the next few weeks, I thought it would be nice to focus on a few popular hymns sung during the Christmas season. Songs we refer to as Christmas Carols. One of my all-time favorite ‘Advent’ Carols is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

If you don’t know what Advent means – it’s the term used for the ‘Coming of Christ and is usually celebrated for 5 weeks – from the Sunday after Thanksgiving to the last Sunday in December. O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a perfect hymn for Advent because it is exactly that – a hymn calling from the prophecies of the Old Testament for the coming of the Messiah.

Here are some of the verses:

O come, o come Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain:

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Wow! Did you get the power of those words. What a song of celebration and crying out for God’s salvation.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

“Free Thine own from Satann’s tyranny

From depths of Hell Thy people save

And give them victory or the grave”

When the Son of God appears – NOTHING will defeat him. And as people who live on this side of the cross, we know that not even death could defeat Christ. Because He overcame the power of sin and death, we can live forever in Him. The gloomy clouds of night have been dispersed…and death’s dark shadows have been put to flight.

Rejoice!

The melody for this hymn is said to have come from a 12 century Latin song. It was translated into English in the mid-1800s. We can rejoice because the Messiah – the Son of God HAS come. We are no longer left captives stumbling in the dark. We can rejoice, because the Light of the World has shone into the darkness and awakened our heart to His marvelous love.

Rejoice!

Wisemen and Storytellers

I’ve always thought the story of the Wisemen in the Bible was an interesting one. Otherwise known as Magi, they were probably King’s counselors, astrologers, perhaps dabblers in a bit of occult…where we get the word magic.  They were Seekers, whatever else they were. Seekers of truth, knowledge, and in this story – they sought a King.

Now – how did they know where to find Jesus? God spoke to them in their own language, the stars.  He brought them to himself by capturing them in a story told through the sky, in a magical dance of stars and planets that they could read and understand.

God is the ultimate Storyteller, weaving his messages into sentences and words that we can understand. Throughout Scripture, God comes down to the level of his audience to help them understand His message for them. For the Magi, he spoke through the stars, for the fisherman- he spoke of becoming ‘fishers of men’, for the average farmer – he told the parable of the seeds.

In the greatest story of love, God used a picture. He sent His Son to talk from human lips, touch with human hands, and tell the story of His love through His very life.  God spoke our language so that we could understand and find our way Home to Him. His illustrations were ‘out of this world’.