Starry Night

Matthew 2 New International Version

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

It Was On A Starry Night

It was on a starry night
When the hills were bright
Earth lay sleeping
Sleeping calm and still
Then in a cattle shed
In a manger bed
A boy was born
King of all the world.

Chorus:
And all the angels sang for Him
The bells of heaven rang for Him
For a boy was born
King of all the world.
And all the angels sang for Him
The bells of heaven rang for Him
For a boy was born
King of all the world.

Soon the shepherds came that way
Where the baby lay
And were kneeling
Kneeling by His side
And their hearts believed again
For the peace of men
For a boy was born
King of all the world.

Peace

Luke 2 : 13 – 14

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”Image result for peace at Christmas

It doesn’t matter which version of scripture you choose to read, you’ll find the word peace used about 150 times. Sometimes it’s used to warn people who are about to lose their sense of peace, and other times it’s part of a standard blessing spoken over God’s people. It’s remarkable how many times the word is used to give a promise or as part of prophecy. Often the word is spoken as a reminder of the peace God gave in the past or given as a word of hope for the present as well as the future. During Advent this year, we’ll look at each of those uses of the word, and hopefully, by focusing on the One born to bring us true peace, we’ll have our most tranquil Christmas celebration ever!

Nowadays we read, hear and see on TV all sorts of evil taking place all over the world. Lets remind ourselves that this is a season of Peace and Joy.

Verse 1]
Behold the star of Bethlehem
The Word of God has become flesh
Unto us a child is born
The Savior of this broken world

[Chorus]
Hear the angel voices
Sing come let us adore Him
Peace has come, for our King is with us

[Verse 2]
Fully God and fully man
He comes for all with open hands
He rules with love on David’s throne
All praise belongs to Christ alone

[Chorus]
Hear the angel voices
Sing come let us adore Him
Peace has come, for our King is with us
Holy, Holy, Holy
Jesus we adore thee
Peace has come, for our King is with us

[Bridge]
Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord
(2x)

The Story Behind O Holy Night

O Holy Night was originally written by poet and author Placide Cappeau in 1843 southern France. The music for the song was composed by the prolific French composer and music critic, Adolphe Adam and in 1855 the song was translated from French to English by John Sullivan Dwight.

Near the end of 1843, a church organ in southern France was renovated. Even though Cappeau showed no interest in religion, he was asked by the parish priest to write a Christmas poem; which he did. Shortly thereafter, Adam wrote the music and the song was first performed in 1857.

O Holy Night is one of the most well-known Christmas carols reflecting on Jesus’ birth and the redemption of humanity.

Biblical Inspiration of “O Holy Night” Lyrics

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Luke 2:8)

Long lay the world in sin and error pining. ’Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

“And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” (Genesis 3:17-18)

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19-21)

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born; O night divine, O night, O night divine!

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. And in his name all oppression shall cease.

“No longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother–especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.” (Philemon 1:16)

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O Holy night, O night divine!

[Verse 2]
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend

[Verse 3]
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim  3

Worthy is the Lamb

I sometimes take my mobile into the bathroom when I am about to shower and listen to something on Spotify. This was the case last night.

I selected it to play a selection of songs, one of which was Travis Cotrell’s Medley “Worthy is the Lamb”

It was while I was in the shower a very popular “Crown him with many Crowns” was sang with strength and power.

If I got to be honest I thought it was awesome.

Crown him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon his throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of him
Who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown him the virgin’s Son,
The God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won
Which now His brow adorn;
Fruit of the mystic rose,
As of that rose the stem;
The root whence mercy ever flows,
The Babe of Bethlehem.

Crown him the Son of God,
Before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where he hath trod,
Crown him the Son of Man;
Who every grief hath known
That wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own,
That all in him may rest.

Crown him the Lord of life,
Who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife
For those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
Who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
Whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease,
And all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
And round his piercèd feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown him the Lord of love,
Behold his hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye
At mysteries so bright.

Crown him the Lord of Heaven,
Enthroned in worlds above,
Crown him the King to whom is given
The wondrous name of Love.
Crown him with many crowns,
As thrones before him fall;
Crown him, ye kings, with many crowns,
For he is King of all.

Crown him the Lord of lords,
Who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word,
For ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light,
Where saints with angels sing
Their songs before him day and night,
Their God, Redeemer, King.

Crown him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail
Throughout eternity.

Still the King 

Psalm 74:12-23 New International Version 

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the sea by your power;
    you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
    how foolish people have reviled your name.
19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
    do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
    may the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;
    remember how fools mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamour of your adversaries,
    the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

I just love the awesome Scenes that come with this video

He Lives

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.Image result for He lives

I love this passage from Corinthians, it gives us a reminder that Christ did die for our sins and that unless you accept him as your personal saviour you will remain a sinner.

1. O joyful sound! O glorious hour
When Christ by His almighty power
Arose and left the grave!
Now let our songs His triumph tell
Who broke the chains of death and hell,
And ever lives to save.
Refrain
He lives, He lives,
I know that my Redeemer lives.
He lives, He lives,
I know that my Redeemer lives.
2. The first begotten of the dead,
For us He rose, our glorious Head,
Immortal life to bring.
What though the saints, like Him shall die,
They share their Leader’s victory,
And triumph with their King. [Refrain]
3. No more we tremble at the grave;
For He who died our souls to save
Will raise our bodies, too.
What though this earthly house shall fail,
The Saviour’s power will yet prevail
And build it up anew. [Refrain]

Pictured in the video are The International Staff Band and The Melbourne Staff Band of The Salvation Army

Any Room

Image result for room for jesus

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door b and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,c I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

  1. Have you any room for Jesus,
    He who bore your load of sin?
    As He knocks and asks admission,
    Sinner, will you let Him in?

    • Refrain:
      Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
      Hasten now His Word obey;
      Swing the heart’s door widely open,
      Bid Him enter while you may.
  2. Room for pleasure, room for business,
    But for Christ the Crucified,
    Not a place that He can enter,
    In the heart for which He died?
  3. Have you any room for Jesus,
    As in grace He calls again?
    Oh, today is time accepted,
    T’morrow you may call in vain.
  4. Room and time now give to Jesus,
    Soon will pass God’s day of grace;
    Soon thy heart left cold and silent,
    And thy Savior’s pleading cease.

Along with the Chorus ‘Behold me standing at the door’ this is one of my favourite invitation hymns of all time. As you listen to the video and if you feel the need to accept him please do as I have.

Behold Me standing at the door,
And hear Me pleading evermore,
With gentle voice: oh, heart of sin,
May I come in? May I come in?

Any Room

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door b and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,c I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

  1. Have you any room for Jesus,
    He who bore your load of sin?
    As He knocks and asks admission,
    Sinner, will you let Him in?

    • Refrain:
      Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
      Hasten now His Word obey;
      Swing the heart’s door widely open,
      Bid Him enter while you may.
  2. Room for pleasure, room for business,Image result for Room for Jesus
    But for Christ the Crucified,
    Not a place that He can enter,
    In the heart for which He died?
  3. Have you any room for Jesus,
    As in grace He calls again?
    Oh, today is time accepted,
    T’morrow you may call in vain.
  4. Room and time now give to Jesus,
    Soon will pass God’s day of grace;
    Soon thy heart left cold and silent,
    And thy Saviour’s pleading cease.

Along with the Chorus ‘Behold me standing at the door’ this is one of my favourite invitation hymns of all time. As you listen to the video and if you feel the need to accept him please do as I have.

Consecration

Romans 12 New International Version

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Frances Havergal (1836-1879) created one of the classic hymns of Christian commitment.  Referred to as the “consecration poet,” Havergal strived to live a life fully dedicated to Christ and to those she saw in any physical or spiritual need. 

We know that Havergal’s spiritual journey began early in her life, memorizing passages in the Bible at age 4 and writing verse by age seven. She was nurtured by her father, an Anglican clergyman, also devoted to Christian hymnody.  Though Havergal’s health was frail and she lived barely 43 years, she learned several modern languages as well as Hebrew and Greek. She was also a singer of some note and known as an accomplished pianist. 

This hymn of total dedication to Christ seems to cover every aspect of submission to him.  Each line begins with the compulsory verb “Take,” giving the sense of a continual prayer of petition. 

1 Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

2 Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

3 Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

4 Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

5 Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.

Anxiety

Philippians 4 V 1 – 9 New International Version 

Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.Related image

Final Exhortations

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Hide me now

Under your wings

Cover me

Within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar

I will soar with you above the storm

Father you are king over the flood

I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul

In Christ alone

Know his power

In quietness and trust