Sunday favorites

Luke 2:8-14

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’

Or, in the King James Version, as read by Linus Van Pelt:

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  • Anonymous

    merry christmas everyone

  • Anonymous

    The Unitarian Universalist service I went to last night juxtaposed this story (subtly different translation to the one Fred posted though) with the story of the Christmas Eve in 1914 when the soldiers stopped the war. It was beautiful.

    The Catholic service I went to last night decried secularism. Apparently “Happy Holidays” is “empty of meaning”, instead of, y’know, saying “I don’t know what or if you celebrate this time of year, but I wish you joy of it”. *sigh*

  • CaryB

    I gotta say- I know they’re easier to read, and often more accurate- but other translations just don’t have the….gravitas of the KJV.

    (Ok, yeah, I’m an atheist without a dog in the fight. But still- I prefer certain translations of the Iliad, I prefer certain translations of The Brothers Karamazov, and I prefer certain translations of the bible.)

  • The Revised Standard Version comes close, I think, since the verb conjugations and usage are similar to the KJV.

  • Stuartreid

    The Queen of Great Britain used this quote in her Christmas message too

  • Anonymous

    I understand.  I remember memorizing the KJV angelic appearance scene, and Psalm 23, and it just…flows nicer.  The poetic nature of it makes it easier to memorize, even if you’re too young to fully understand what you’re saying.  That, and it sounds pretty. :P

  • Anonymous

    Luke 2:9-14 in Quenya

    9. Ar i Héruo vala tarnë ara te, ar i Héruo alcar caltanë os te, ar túra caurë nampë te.
    10. Mal i vala quentë téna: “Áva rucë, pan inyë cára sinwa len túra alassë ya nauva i quanda lien,
    11. an anaië cólina len síra Rehtando, ye ná Hristo, i Heru, Laviro ostossë.
    12. Ar si nauva tanna len: Hiruvaldë vinimo, vaitana ar caitala salquecolcassë.”
    13. Ar rincanen engë as i vala rimbë i meneldëa hossëo, laitala Eru ar quétala:
    14. “Alcar i tarmenissen na Erun, ar cemendë rainë atanin pa i sanas mai.”

    The ‘all’ in ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…’ is even all-er than we can imagine.

  • Merry Christmas, all. I hope it was a good one for all who celebrate, and a good day in general for those to whom it’s just another day.

    I wound up going to a midnight mass where a good friend was singing solo in a small choir with string ensemble from the balcony. (He sounded fantastic.) I’d never been to a midnight mass before — was always jealous of my friend who always went when I never got to. It was as beautiful as I could have hoped.

    I had also never been to an Antiochian Orthodox service before — I was raised Catholic, and in a relatively casual parish at that. The similarities were great enough that the differences kept catching me by surprise. (It was certainly jarring to feel the urge to say “And also with you” while the rest of the congregation is saying “And with thy spirit.”)

    (The sermon wasn’t as bad as the one Ellie reports* — but it was questionable. The priest seemed to be reacting to some perceived backsliding or offsliding on the part of the congregation, or else was taking advantage of the opportunity to present a hermeneutics lesson to the guests. In dissecting the text of Luke and explaining what was meant by “City of David” and “Christ” and “Savior” and “Lord,” he was trying, so it appeared, to rewrite all known biblical history scholarship by means of blunt repetition.)

    But woah, between the Solstice all-nighter and the midnight mass in such close chronological proximity, my sleep cycle is way the hell off.

    *Regarding the evergreen “Happy Holidays” mountain-from-molehill, I had an interesting compare-and-contrast moment on Christmas Eve. My husband and I started out at our favorite diner, where two different waitresses asked us what our plans for Christmas was and everyone was wishing each other Merry Christmas and it was Christmas this and Christmas that and Merry Christmas as we walked out the door — I’m not complaining, it was Dec. 24 after all; I’m just saying it was super noticeable.

    Then we did a grocery run at Whole Foods, where every check-out clerk I could hear was wishing people happy holidays or have a great afternoon or have a great weekend (“Merry Christmas” happened only in response to customers saying it first) with such consistency that I am sure it was a matter of training. The cultural difference between the two retail locations was striking.

    I rather appreciated the secular greeting and/or respond-in-kind approach at the grocery store, but I felt sorry for the clerk who rang us up; she sounded uncomfortable, like she had to catch herself in the act of automatically wishing us a Merry Christmas and forcibly, with great effort, turn it into a “have a good afternoon.”