Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sorry, We Still Have a Disciplinarian

Today's lectionary gave us a truncated version of Galatians 3. Here is the version heard in most Episcopal churches,
"Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, (missing verses cut at this point)
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.  And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God." Galatians 3:23-25,4:4-7

These verses have been a dangerous trap for those who seek to justify sins by re-visioning them as works of the Holy Spirit. To them, the sexual morality codes found in the Bible are a prison. "We are no longer subject to a disciplinarian" sounds like the perfect excuse for sexual liberation. Even today, Louie C. over at Queer Eye for the Lectionary looks at Galatians 3:25 and sees something that I could never imagine,
"The church violates Saint’s claim if it requires lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and the transgendered to live under the law no longer required of hetero Christians."
Of course he neglects to mention how we "hetero Christians" are bound to live up to the words of our Lord regarding marriage, lust, and adultery.

The Saint's arguments in Galatians really need to be considered as a whole and not be reduced to the little snippets most churchgoers hear on Sunday mornings.

The lectionary editors should consider that it might be more helpful for people to hear more rather than less. Can you imagine being in a 1st century crowd listening as the letter was being read for the very first time,
"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?"  Galatians 3:1-5
If he were writing this letter to us today, perhaps he might change the last sentence to read,
"Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your following your new laws of morality and 'justice', or by believing what you have read in the testimony of the Saints? You foolish moderns, who has bewitched you?"
No, we are still subject to a disciplinarian, a loving Father, one who has gone to the ultimate lengths to rescue us when we have gone astray. We listen to and follow His discipline, not out of fear, but out of respect, gratitude, and love.

In case you want to insert the missing verses back into the readings from Galatians today, here they are:
"for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world." Galatians 3:26 - 4:3

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Crowd is Untruth

We often hear the claim that the Holy Spirit is acting through various votes on  church resolutions even though those resolutions are in clear contradiction to the written Word. In truth, many of these resolutions have more to do about politics than the Holy Spirit.

A short tract form Kierkegaard reminded me that we should be wary when we grant spiritual authority to our ballot box decisions (emphasis mine).
"The crowd is untruth. Therefore was Christ crucified, because he, even though he addressed himself to all, would not have to do with the crowd, because he would not in any way let a crowd help him, because he in this respect absolutely pushed away, would not found a party, or allow balloting, but would be what he was, the truth, which relates itself to the single individual. And therefore everyone who in truth will serve the truth, is eo ipso in some way or other a martyr; if it were possible that a human being in his mother's womb could make a decision to will to serve 'the truth' in truth, so he also is eo ipso a martyr, however his martyrdom comes about, even while in his mother's womb."

"For to win a crowd is not so great a trick; one only needs some talent, a certain dose of untruth and a little acquaintance with the human passions. But no witness for the truth - alas, and every human being, you and I, should be one - dares have dealings with a crowd. The witness for the truth - who naturally will have nothing to do with politics, and to the utmost of his ability is careful not to be confused with a politician - the godfearing work of the witness to the truth is to have dealings with all, if possible, but always individually, to talk with each privately, on the streets and lanes - to split up the crowd, or to talk to it, not to form a crowd, but so that one or another individual might go home from the assembly and become a single individual. 'A crowd,' on the other hand, when it is treated as the court of last resort in relation to 'the truth,' its judgment as the judgment, is detested by the witness to the truth, more than a virtuous young woman detests the dance hall. And they who address the 'crowd' as the court of last resort, he considers to be instruments of untruth. For to repeat: that which in politics and similar domains has its validity, sometimes wholly, sometimes in part, becomes untruth, when it is transferred to the intellectual, spiritual, and religious domains. And at the risk of a possibly exaggerated caution, I add just this: by 'truth' I always understand 'eternal truth.' But politics and the like has nothing to do with 'eternal truth.' A politics, which in the real sense of 'eternal truth' made a serious effort to bring 'eternal truth' into real life, would in the same second show itself to be in the highest degree the most 'impolitic' thing imaginable."

The Crowd is Untruth by Soren Kierkegaard On the Dedication to "That Single Individual" Translated by Charles K. Bellinger (H/t Christian Classics Ethereal Library)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Greatest Villain in Newtown: The Weak Church

In my previous post, I mentioned an article that got me to thinking about the mass murder of Newtown's school children and teachers in a different light. After reading that today's Lectionary suggested that reading the Magnificat was optional (those verses framed by parentheses: Luke 1:39-45(46-56)), and fuming that this might deprive some Sunday worshippers of the opportunity to hear words such as,

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. (KJV)

I thought people might never hear about the "God of power and might", and what might be the effect of a steady dose of similar omissions?

William Murray is the son of atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, and he has some interesting answers to my question and for those of us trying to make sense of the recent tragedy in Newtown (full text found here).
"If an individual is not afraid of the wrath of God, it is impossible to cause him to fear the justice of the state..."
Such a person has only himself to fear.
"But the greatest villain (in this tragedy) is a church that has accepted the world’s view that hell does not await evildoers..."
Yes, that is the message being spread in the modern revisionist parish as has been documented here on previous occasions.

"With a weak message from a weak church, there is no restraint or lessening of the violence..."

There can be no argument that the weak church (as far as judgment and damnation goes) sends out weak messages to the weak minded, but is it possible in this day and age to convince a people that scarcely believes in eternal life that there can be eternal fire?

"My mother, atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, fought to make the public schools the armed camps they are today by removing prayer, the recognition of the authority of God. In 1962 and 1963, I was attending an all-boys public high school in downtown Baltimore, Md. The school was a magnet school before the term even existed and was intended to prepare young men for college, majoring in science and engineering. There were 1,800 teenage boys in the school, and there was not a cop in the building – ever. The doors were unlocked and often the un-air-conditioned rooms had open windows. There were no metal detectors, no picture IDs, and students went in and out the doors on the honor system.
The authority of God was present..."
Authority was something we were taught as children to respect and to fear. I know that I never, never wanted to be hauled into the Assistant Headmaster's office, a place where all sorts of unspeakable horrors were rumored to await misbehaving schoolboys.
"In the vast majority of America’s public schools, the authority of God has been replaced with the authority of the iron fist of government. Morals? Without the authority of God, there are no morals, and none are taught in the public schools today. The ethics that are taught are situational, perhaps the same situational ethics that led to the logic that caused the tragic shootings in Newtown."
That same situational ethics might be alive and well and taught by your church too.
"A large advertising sign near my home reads, 'A church for those who don’t like church.' Translation: 'No condemnation of sin here – we have coffee latte and great music.'”
The feel good Sunday morning church of today serves up a watered down version of God's message. This is what the people, in ever decreasing numbers, lap up week after week . To what effect? Would it hurt to deliver the message with all the shock and awe contained therein?
"How about this politically incorrect sermon subject: 'An angry God condemns the carnal sin of Adam Lanza, the Newton school shooter who killed 26, and he will rot in eternal torment in hell, as do all those who turn their backs on God and his goodness and continue their wicked and sinful ways.' 
No way, no how in America today."
Read it all here.

What happens when you’re raised by America’s most famous atheist? Read William Murray’s riveting and redemptive new book, “My Life Without God”

What happens when your revisionist church includes the strong language but twists it to meet its agenda? Today at our church we got a massive dose of the Magnificat with at least four versions being read or sung, and then we had to listen to our priest's three takes on the Mag, one of which unfortunately came from a liberation theology point of view in which celibate Catholic males and early Protestant  Reformation males got bashed.  Lord have mercy!

Fortunately "his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation".


Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of Time: Studdert Kennedy

Methought it was the end of time,
The dawn of judgment day,
The world stood waiting for the judge,
Dim faces drawn and grey.

The sword of dawn slashed thro' the East,
I did not dare to see,
But threw my arm across my face
From that dread mystery.

Then trembling raised reluctant eyes,
To look upon the throne,
But all the earth was emptiness,
And I stood all alone.

Till I looked down, and at my feet,
With shining eyes and mild,
And two small wounded hands held out,
There stood my Judge--a Child.

"The Judgment" by Studdert Kennedy

Although he was a socialist, and despite being recognized by the Episcopal church as a somebody, I still like some of his poetry.

"Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy (June 27, 1883 - March 8, 1929), was an Anglican priest and poet. He was nicknamed 'Woodbine Willie' during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes along with spiritual aid to injured and dying soldiers.

Born in Leeds in 1883, Kennedy was the seventh of nine children born to Jeanette Anketell and William Studdert Kennedy, a vicar in Leeds. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained a degree in classics and divinity in 1904. From here."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Is God Awesome or is He Terrible?

I was reading Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" from July 8, 1741 over at Christian Classics Ethereal Library yesterday at the same time as a friend sent a link to an article about how that sermon would not go over well in today's feel good Sunday morning church, and how perhaps part of the blame for the recent slaughter of children may be due to the elimination of the fear of God from the Church's message to the world.
"You have reason to wonder that you are not already in hell. It is doubtless the case of some whom you have seen and known, that never deserved hell more than you, and that heretofore appeared as likely to have been now alive as you. Their case is past all hope; they are crying in extreme misery and perfect despair;"
No, you probably didn't hear that preached last Sunday.

The various translations of the Bible have been a part of this problem as well. The Lectionary compounds the problem by deleting the harsh words of judgment in addition to the effects of the softened language seen in some translations.

I have been reading the KJV of the Bible this year, and as I do, I become more and more tuned into the deficiencies of the NRSV (which is the version used in our Episcopal church).

Psalm 47 (also found in other Psalms) came around the other day and the word "terrible" jumped out at me.

1 Clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

2 For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
King James Version (KJV)
I thought to myself, "Now that would not go over well with the pewsitters on a pleasant Sunday morning. I wonder how the NRSV puts it?" This is what we might hear today,

1 Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.

2 For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.

3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

An awesome God is indeed something that we should be terrified of, but unfortunately the word "awesome" in today's common vernacular does not carry any connotation that would instill in us a feeling akin to terror. A simple search at Sentence First turns up,
"...the word awesome means pretty good, great, cool, excellent, fine, exciting, quite interesting, not terrible, etc. It is often preceded by totally, or followed by dude, or both; and new variations arise constantly."

Of course, the modern connotation of the word "terrible" is something more like mean, cruel, or awful, and might be preceded by the name "Ivan", and that wouldn't work at all. Let me try a few variations,

For the Lord, the Most High, is totally awesomeis awful, is cool, is quite interesting, is pretty good, a great king over all the earth.

I am not sure what the solution is, and I have been trying to come up with a neologism that will combine Awesome and terrible into one word.

I don't think it is awesible.

All I can come up with is "Awerrible" which sounds a bit like a cockney version of "Horrible," and that won't work either.

How about "gnawsome"?

Reverend Fun - Gnawsome

 That's what you get, a feel good smile, when you try to please the crowd.

Instead of this,

"And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. How awful is it to be left behind at such a day!" Jonathan Edwards

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bad News, Good News

The editors of our local paper got in a bit of trouble after printing a large advertisement announcing a gun sale on the same page as part of their report on the recent mass killing of little children and teachers at a school in Connecticut.

One of the Charlotte television stations reported this morning that the newspaper staff has apologized for their blunder.

That makes me feel a little better about my own editorial errors.

This morning's Gospel reading from Luke 3 delivers shocking news from John the Baptist that people need to shape up, to repent, or they will be burned like chaff in the Messiah's unquenchable fire.

Bad news... if you don't repent and be baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. Luke 3:7-18
Good news? Yikes!

The good news is that we don't have to be chaff.

Judging from the bad news delivered in the newspaper this week, there is going to be plenty of chaff that won't listen to the good news, and there will be plenty of fuel for those unquenchable fires for some time to come.
"Teacher, what should we do?"
Repent and be baptised. Believe in Jesus, the only Son of God, our only Saviour, our only advocate.

Brother, do we ever need one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weird Wisdom Taught at Episcopal Convent

The Episcopal Convent of Saint Helena flyer sometimes makes me wonder what kind of convent this is, but then I remember the modifier...


Here is an example,

The monthly Wisdom Group continues its gatherings at the convent, working with recorded material by Adyashanti, a spiritual teacher who emerged from the Zen tradition yet draws on all great spiritual traditions.

Says Sr Linda, the group host, "There’s a familiarly quoted adage, ‘When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.’

If Adyashanti’s teaching is for you, it is so healing and freeing. The effect of people who hear him must be similar to the effect on people who heard Jesus speak.”

We watch and reflect on one DVD ateach gathering, meeting from 9:30 until noon, and
closing each gathering with a time of silence.
To partially quote their spiritual teacher,
"If you want to learn something, go elsewhere."
Maybe the sisters don't realize that their teacher might not be all in it for Christ. After all, he also wrote,
"You are the Buddha! You are freedom itself! Stop dreaming your dream! Stop pretending that you are in bondage—stop telling yourself that lie! Stop pretending to be someone, or something!"
Hey St. Paul, can you help them out on that bondage issue?
"I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." Romans 6:19 KJV
Don't worry too much about the poor sisters being led away from the convent, because they plan on balancing Adyashanti with a dose of Former Presiding Bishop Frank (Continue the Conversation) Griswold.

In a weekend teaching, Bishop Griswold will explore the various ways we are prepared and rendered open to the sometimes wild and unexpected “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” who bounds into our lives and lays claim to our hears and imagination.

Now that creates an interesting image: the Lion of the tribe of Judah pouncing on Adyashanti with Frank Griswold asking us enter into a deeper conversation about it as it happens. Now that would be an impact worth awakening for!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Virtue to Waldo: You're Conflicted

Personally, I trashed +Waldo's latest Advent letter to us peons in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina because it just came across as a bunch of Episcobabble designed to make us feel good about "Waldo the great Uniter." It is clear where Waldo's grand unification theory is leading this diocese. His strategy of trying to get folks like me to hold hands with those who espouse false doctrine just won't play in Peworia.

David Virtue took Waldo's letter apart over at his web portal. Here is a taste,

WALDO: I will also stay in contact and dialogue with those who have felt that The Episcopal Church has moved courageously in its theological developments. And, I offer my support to those within the Diocese of South Carolina who wish to remain within The Episcopal Church. Both Bishop Mark Lawrence and Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori are aware of my offer. 
VOL: There you have it. Waldo has given away his hand, "...moved courageously in its theological developments." That's the problem right there. There is nothing "courageous" about endorsing pansexuality, gay rites for same sex blessings and accepting Katharine Jefferts Schori's less than ringing endorsement of the divinity of Jesus Christ (in fact she has stated she cannot). It is precisely those "theological developments" that Bishop Lawrence cannot accept that has brought about the divisions in his diocese and the wider Episcopal Church. It is why there is an alternative missionary province - The Anglican Church in North America - now in play. 
WALDO: My deepest hope is that in the long term, we, in our brokenness, will steadfastly hold on to the possibility of reconciliation and restoration, even if it takes us a generation. This is precisely the kind of dialogue to which our strategic visioning process calls us. So I will continue to foster such dialogue and to be the bishop of all in this diocese, regardless of where members are on the theological or political continuum. 
VOL: Not going to happen. One cannot nor ever reconcile darkness and light, truth and falsity. Dr. Rowan Williams tried to find an Hegelian synthesis to hold the Anglican Communion together and failed. Restoration can only be based on truth. There is little truth left in The Episcopal Church that Bishop Lawrence and a whole host of other bishops who have left TEC will ever be reconciled too. Perhaps a good start might be an apology to Archbishop Robert Duncan for the shabby way he was tossed out of TEC and then given a trial that declared him guilty; or at a more local level, an apology from Bishop Charles Bennison for the wretched way he treated his orthodox priests for over a decade in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. That would be a good start. Finally, all of the HOB must agree that, in the name of inclusion, they will allow graduates and ordinands from Trinity School for Ministry to be allowed in their dioceses. That would be a good start. I won't hold my breath.
Just ask Bishop Waldo to define "courageous theological developments," and ask him how many Trinity graduates he has recruited in the spirit of "diversity".

 Read the rest here...

Friday, December 07, 2012

The Diocese of East Tennessee Has Been Assimilated

The Knoxville Sentinel announced the availability of same sex blessings at local Episcopal churches yesterday.

Bishop George Young's letter regarding this can be found here.

In it he says some things that reminded me of the actions of our Bishop Waldo. Specifically Bishop Young says,

"Over the past year I have talked a great deal about how I wanted the diocese, in the context of our upcoming February 2013 diocesan convention, to have some input as to how we will live into this new aspect of our life together as Episcopalians in East Tennessee. My desire has been for us to corporately move forward.
I appointed a 'Task Force For Same Sex Blessings' earlier this autumn, and their task has been to advise and guide me as to how we will continue..."
Task Force huh, doesn't that sound familiar? We have our own Task Force 10 to Gomorrah thanks to our Bishop Waldo.

Bishop Young's task force has already found Gomorrah and he has concluded,
"Therefore, after extensive prayer, conversation, and with hope for the future, I approve the provisional use of The Witness and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant in the Diocese of East Tennessee after the 2013 Diocesan Convention under the following basic conditions..."
I believe that Bishop Waldo's letter informing our Diocese of the results of his task force will be similar to the one presented to the Tenneseeans yesterday.

Update, E. Tenn stats point to a fig tree that is not bearing fruit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Three Things From Margery Kempe, Ancress of Lynn

This week we were catching up on our O.T. readings, and yesterday I was in Deuteronomy 6 and read,
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes." Deuteronomy 6:4-8

The first great commandment seems to be the one that seems to give people the most trouble. How can we keep God in our hearts all the time when we are constantly drawn away by the distractions of the world? Isn't it like patting your head and rubbing your belly while at the same time singing the National Anthem? Impossible as it may seem, Jesus makes it one of our highest obligations,

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)

It is a tall order, and one of the things that makes it more difficult is that "Why should I love God?" is often a question in people's hearts, souls, and minds, and it is this question that gets in the way of following the first commandment. I found something the other day in the rare book section of the www that  may be of some help to those who are struggling with this problem.
"Daughter, if thou knew how sweet thy love is to Me, thou wouldest never do other thing but love Me with all thine heart.

"Daughter, if thou wilt be high with Me in heaven, keep Me alway in thy mind as much as thou mayst, and forget not Me at thy meat; but think alway that I sit in thine heart and know every thought that is therein, both good and bad.

"Daughter, I have suffered many pains for thy love; therefore thou hast great cause to love Me right well, for I have bought thy love full dear."

From the Book of Margery Kempe, Ancress of Lynn (d. 1438 or afterward)

(Christian Ethereal Classics Library)
I hope it helps you like it helped me!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Advent Lessons and Carols

For the close of Rock Hill's "Christmasville" activities, our church offered worship to the Lord which put us in a bit of a competition with a fireworks show that finished just as our worship was set to start.

For those of you who went to the fireworks and missed the service, I will provide an order of the service with links to the readings (KJV except for the reading from Baruch) and music where available on the web.

Prelude: "The Holly and the Ivy, Coventry Carol, I Saw Three Ships"

Introit/Procession: "Prepare a way for the Lord" (Michael Bedford 20th c.)

Hymn 102 "Once in royal David's city"

Lesson I Genesis 3:1-15

Anthem: This is the truth sent from above (Ralph Vaughan Williams1872-1958)

Lesson II Isaiah 40:1-11

Anthem: The Lord is my Shepherd (Howard Goodall b. 1958)

Lesson III Baruch 4:36-5:9

Hymn 70 "Herald, sound the note of judgment"

Lesson IV Isaiah 65:17-25

Anthem: All my heart this night rejoices (Johann Georg Ebeling 1637-1676)

Lesson V Isaiah 7:10-15

Anthem: Come Jesus, Holy Son of God (G. F. Handel 1685-1759) arr. Hal H. Hopson

Lesson VI Micah 5:2-4

Hymn 78 "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Lesson VII Luke 1:26-38

Anthem: Magnificat (Peter Aston b. 1938)

Lesson VIII Luke 2:1-20

Hymn "Of the Father's Love Begotten"

Lesson IX John 1:1-18

Hymn 83 "O Come all Ye Faithful"

Offertory Anthem: Gloria (John D. Horman 20th c.)

Hymn 87 "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"

Postlude: Angels we have heard on high, Deck the halls