Tag Archives: advent

12 Days of Emmanuel (Day 9)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is a theologically rich song. It’s perfect for Christmas Eve, the night in which the angels visited the shepherds.

Luke records the event:

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” – Luke 2:13-14

Merry Christmas! and enjoy the song.


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12 Days of Emmanuel (Day 5)

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a classic Christmas story-song. It focuses on the Lukan narrative of Mary, the angels, and the shepherds and emphasizes the rest God provides through His Son, our Savior.

The refrain, “Oh-oh, tiding of comfort and joy, comfort and joy” is a catchy repeat that allows even those who struggle with all seven verses to always have a part to play.

In this version Sarah follow the original tune, which makes it an arrrangment, but it has its own style. The verses that are here form a chiastic (hourglass structure.) The 2nd and 6th are about Mary and have a protestant feel, as they emphasize both Mary’s humility, and worship of Jesus. (Roman Catholics usually focus on her honor and virtue.) Here’s the structure:

  • 1. Public invitation — God REST ye merry Gentlemen
    • 2. Mary’s HUMILITY — did nothing take in scorn
      • 3. Angel to Shepherds — announcement
        • 4. FEAR NOT — he comes to save us
      • 5. Shepherds go to Bethlehem — laid in a manger
    • 6. Mary’s worship — kneeling to PRAY before the manger
  • 7. Public response — “Now to the Lord sing PRAISES all you within this place, and with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace.”
  • So note the structure:
    • The center verse is #4 — FEAR NOT.
    • Surrounded by Angel and Shepherds (#3 and #5)
    • Sourrounded by Mary (#2 and #6) — HUMBLE and PRAYING,
    • Surrounded by our response: REST and PRAISE

Tidings of comfort and joy!

Here’s where you can find the whole album, Emmanuel.

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Devotions for Families in December

This December I wrote a Christmas time devotional for households for the church I serve, Cornerstone EPC in Brighton, MI called Devotions in December.  It has 11 devotions to be used during advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

I’d love to share with you.  Just click the photo above or here to visit Cornerstone’s site where it’s available as a PDF.


God bless and merry Christmas!



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