Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The theme of hope has been in the news recently.  In an interview outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama, lamenting what in her view is the loss of hope, said, “Hope is necessary.  It’s a necessary concept.”  Incoming President Donald Trump responded, “I’m telling you, we have tremendous hope.  And we have a tremendous promise and tremendous potential.”

Although both political figures rightly emphasize the importance of hope, they are terribly misguided about its nature.  The Christmas story in the Gospels reveals the true nature of hope and its power. Read the rest of this entry »

“The Huron Carol” was originally composed by Jean de Brébeuf (1596-1649), the Jesuit missionary to the Huron Indians in French Canada.  Brébeuf, who was a skilled linguist, wrote the lyrics in the Huron language.  The original Huron title was “Jesous Ahatonhia” (“Jesus, he is born“).  It is an excellent example of missionary contextualization in which the gospel story is told in terms familiar and relevant to the receiving culture.  Much like tradition European carols like “The First Noel” and “In the Bleak Midwinter,” which place Christ’s nativity in a cold and snowy winter scene, “The Huron Carol,” uses images that would resonate with the Hurons. Read the rest of this entry »

As far back as Irenaeus of Lyon (AD 120-202) and probably earlier, Christians have drawn parallels between the sin of man having come by means of eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and salvation being accomplished on the cross of Christ.[1]  Our two American Christmas poets tie in the tree of Genesis and the cross of Christ with the crib of the baby Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert Browning (1812-1889) is the second in our installment of Christmas poems or poems about the Incarnation.[1]  Browning is famous for his very romantic marriage in which he secretly wed the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) and carried her off to Italy far away from her domineering father,  As a poet, he is especially admired for his dramatic monologues in which a person who is not the poet speaks about a vitally important moment in their life.

“The Strange Medical Experience of Karshish,” is one of Browning’s dramatic monologues.[2]   Read the rest of this entry »

One of the richest treasures of the Christian church and actually for Western civilization is the poetry written about the birth of Christ and the doctrine of the Incarnation it points to.  I thought that it would be interesting and, I hope, inspiring to share some of these poems during the upcoming days. Read the rest of this entry »