Lessons And Carols

“Lessons and Carols” is a Christmas service consisting of nine Bible readings punctuated by the singing of Christmas carols.  It’s a simple service that goes back to 1918 featuring the choir of King’s College in Cambridge, which has been performing it every year except 1930 ever since.   BBC began broadcasting it in 1928, and listening to it on Christmas Eve has become a tradition for many citizens of Great Britain and its Commonwealth.   Churches often put it on.  So do Christian colleges.  But many families do it themselves for family devotions.  (For more background, go here and here.)

Cheryl Magness writes about it in the Federalist and says what it means to her and her family.  I’ll link to it after the jump and give her “Five Reasons” to attend a Lessons & Carols service.  She also says where you can listen to it live from King’s College on December 24 at 10:00 a.m., replayed at other times. [Read more...]

Has the U.S. struck back in cyberwar?

North Korea’s internet has been shut down.  The suspicion is that the American government has struck back in retaliation for North Korea’s hack and extortion of Sony. [Read more...]

#7 most popular Cranach blog post of the year

On April 16, we linked to another post that dismantled myths about the origins of Easter, which became the seventh most viewed post of the year:

Easter did NOT come from a pagan holiday.

And in honor of this week’s upcoming holiday, which is also the subject of similar myths, I offer this bonus from Christmas Eve, 2012:

Christmas was NOT based on the Roman Juvenalia

He will build you a House

We are on the road for Christmas, and we worshipped on the last Sunday of Advent at the church where my son-in-law is the pastor.  (As of now, our Advent Christmas embargo is over.)   Rev. Ned Moerbe preached on the Old Testament text for the day, 2 Samuel 7, in which David had the idea of building God a house; that is, a permanent Temple to replace the Tabernacle tent that the children of Israel had used as the place of sacrifice since the Exodus.  But God, through Nathan the prophet, tells David not to build Him a house; that He would build David a house, an eternal house, prophesying the perpetual reign of  David’s descendant, the Christ.

In the course of the sermon, we were told that the custom in the ancient Biblical cultures was when a couple was betrothed, they waited to get married until the groom built his bride a house for them to live in, either a separate structure or an addition to a family home.  This would probably have been the case with Joseph–whose profession as a carpenter, in the original languages, was not so much a builder of furniture but a builder of houses–and Mary, his betrothed.  And this speaks to us of Advent. . . [Read more...]

Christmas Songs

Cheryl Magness offers Twelve Of The Best Christmas Songs You May Not Have Heard.  She includes YouTube videos of the performances, and listening to them is a Christmas meditation in itself.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?  Give them, along your criteria for what makes them so good.

HT:  Mary Moerbe

 

Two cops murdered as protest

The protests against the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Eric Garner in New York City have led to what a New Jersey police union official  describes as a “fever pitch of anti-police sentiment.”  Across the country, routine police actions have become fraught with tension and the rhetoric of the protesters is sometimes advocating violence against the police.  Now two New York City police officers have been assassinated as retaliation. [Read more...]


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