Episode 12: Sing! Choirs of Angels!
The Mystic Nativity, by Sandro Botticelli
"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." 2 Corinthians 9:15
Joy to the World, By Isaac Watts
“Joy to the world
The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room”
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, By Jerry Vale
“How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given;
so God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in. "
“The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.”
"The World is Too Much With Us," by William Wordsworth
This difficult-to-translate root (pra-) means more than "meek."Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God's strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness. [The English term "meek" often lacks this blend – i.e. of gentleness(reserve) and strength.]
“Meekness of mind is not only essential salvationally. It is also vital, of course, if one is to experience true intellectual growth, especially that which heightens his understanding of the great realities of the universe. Such meekness is a friend, not a foe, of true education. Stephen spoke of Moses: “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22). Though Moses was a learned man, he was the most meek man “upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). So it was that he could and did learn things he “never had supposed” (Moses 1:10)
Meekness is thus so much more than a passive attribute that merely deflects discourtesy. Instead, it involves spiritual and intellectual activism: . Meek Nephi, in fact, decried the passivity of those who “will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness” (2 Nephi 32:7). Alas, most are unsearching—quite content with a superficial understanding or a general awareness of spiritual things (see Alma 10:5–6). This condition may reflect either laziness or, in Amulek’s case, the busyness usually incident to the cares of the world. Intellectual meekness is a persistent as well as particular challenge. Without it, we are not intellectually open to things that we “never had supposed” (Moses 1:10). Alas, some have otherwise reached provincial and erroneous conclusions and do not really want to restructure their understanding of things. Some wish neither to be shaken nor expanded by new data.”
“In those instances of available record, the Lord has displayed much gentleness and tenderness in his tutoring of meek individuals. The pattern usually involves his disclosing more about himself, about his work, and what taking his yoke upon us will mean. He thus expands the horizons of the person being tutored. The Lord likewise usually assigns the individual a portion of the Lord’s work to do. The disciple’s course involves more lab and fieldwork than lectures.”
Astonishingly, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe! If only you and I can avoid being offended by their generosity.
If we would be with them, whether on a mountaintop or forever, we should ponder anew these sobering words: “For none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart” (Moroni 7:44).
Neal A Maxwell, MEEK AND LOWLY
In the Bleak Midwinter, by Christina Rossetti
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
PLEASE PLEASE WATCH THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T! Or if you have, watch it again! :)
INFANT HOLY, INFANT LOWLY
English translation by Edith Margaret Gellibrand Reed
Infant holy, Infant lowly, For His bed a cattle stall; Oxen lowing, Little knowing Christ the Babe is Lord of all. Swift are winging Angels singing, Noels ringing, Tidings bringing, Christ the Babe is Lord of all.
Flocks were sleeping, Shepherds keeping Vigil till the morning new,; Saw the glory, Heard the story, Tidings of a Gospel true. Thus rejoicing, Free from sorrow, Praises voicing, Greet the morrow, Christ the Babe was born for you!
"MINUIT CHRÉTIEN" - O HOLY NIGHT
Minuit, chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle,
Où l'Homme-Dieu descendit jusqu'à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d'espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.
Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur !
People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
Le Rédempteur a brisé toute entrave :
La terre est libre, et le ciel est ouvert.
Il voit un frère où n'était qu'un esclave,
The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
L'amour unit ceux qu'enchaînait le fer.
Qui Lui dira notre reconnaissance,
C'est pour nous tous qu'Il naît,
Qu'Il souffre et meurt.
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It's for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.
Peuple debout ! Chante ta délivrance,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur !
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!
"Cantique de Noël" by Adolphe Adam
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (My translation)