Christmas Blues

I am a big fan of Christmas. As I’ve entered into fatherhood, my enjoyment of the holiday has exponentially increased as I see the wonder and excitement in my daughter’s eyes as she looks at the glowing trees and the new toys. But alas, Christmas fades away. The decor gets put into Tupperware bins, the glitter gets vacuumed, family and friends travel back home, the sparkling lights are begrudgingly removed and everyone “goes back to normal”.  For many of us, this routine often gives way to what can only be described as the post-Christmas blues  (or, PCB, as it’s known in the medical community).

What consolation

O’ Holy Night

The hymn O’ Holy Night exists in a few varieties, all stemming from the original, penned by the french poet Placide Cappeau. The song places the audience at the scene of the first Christmas, calling us to see and hear the sights and sounds of that first Christmas. More than a mere description of the events, this song attempts to capture the true depth of what was happening that first Christmas. It does so by highlighting three great biblical themes:

 

Sin: Long lay the world in sin and error longing (pining)
In short order, these powerful lyrics describe the world apart from the

O’ Come Emmanuel

While we are not sure exactly how old this hymn is (some say 15th century), it certainly has an “old school” ring to it. One of the most striking features of this song is it’s saturation with Old Testament themes, many of which often go unexplored during the Christmas holiday.

The chorus “O come, O come Emmanuel” stems from a messianic prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 and is picked up in Matthew’s Gospel (“which means God with us“). The song is sung from the perspective of one desperately longing  for the redemption that accompanies the coming of the promised Messiah. This great theme

The First Noel

Coming up with names for children is extremely intimidating. Wrestling through names, meanings, alliterations, negative memories and fear that your kid will get beat up at school can become overwhelming.  However, when our daughter Mikayla was born, we found it relatively easy to come up with her middle name: Noel.

We stuck with the name, primarily because of the meaning. Though the name itself dates back centuries to old English, French and even supposedly has roots in Hebrew, Noel means “born on Christmas Day”. Simply put, we wanted  her name to point to Jesus (and also be “a pretty name” which

Little Drummer Boy

I’m a sucker for Christmas songs. At the writing of this blog, we’ve not yet celebrate Thanksgiving and I’ve already got Clapton’s Christmas Tears on the playlist. Many of these wonderful Christmas songs are played with such frequency, that we can often lose sight of their meaning and the depth of their stories. One such song is “The Little Drummer Boy”.

Originally written as “The Carol of the Drum” by Katherine K. Davis in 1941, “The Little Drummer Boy” tells the fictional story of a young boy, invited by the Magi , to visit the newborn Jesus at the manger .  Upon

The Blog In Your Own Eye

Up until now, I’ve been extremely hesitant to enter the “blogosphere”.

However, I’ve been encouraged by a mentor to start blogging. He suggested this for two reasons: 1. As a pastor, I am in the “business” of communicating the truths of scripture, so why not use all methods at my disposal (a good point, I think). 2. It will help me to be a better writer (I love reading, and loath writing). I couldn’t really argue with his points, so I have launched this blog titled (cleverly, if you don’t mind my saying so) “the Blog in your own eye”, playing