1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
The above song and verses tell of the day when Christ will come from Heaven in the air, and will catch up from earth, those whom know Him as Lord and Savior, the living, and those whom have known Him as Lord and Savior, those deceased; Christ will take them back to Heaven with Him to the third heaven *. This event is also written in John 14:1-6 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-55. This event precedes the time of tribulation, at the end of which time Christ, and His caught up believers, will return to earth at the Battle of Armageddon, and the physical second coming of Christ, where He will stand on earth and judge sin and where our Lord will set up His Kingdom Age (Matthew 24:29-31). In the Kingdom Age, the believers in Christ will rule and reign with Him on earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4). At the end of the Kingdom Age of 1,000 years, believers in Christ will enter the eternal state of the new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem, where we will have an eternal presence with Christ, in total perfection (Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-2). In the eternal state, there will be no more curse from the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:17; Revelation 22:1-5). We will “see Christ,” and serve Him….forever.
* The first heaven, where the birds fly. The second heaven, where astronauts fly. The third heaven, where God dwells and has no need of flying. The eternal state will be that of the new heaven.
It was early in the morning hours of May 24,1968, that I, and forty other newly enlisted men of the United States Air Force, were greeted by the words of our “TI,” to “GIT UP!” We were at Amarillo Air Force Base in Texas. A TI in the Air Force is a “training instructor,” like a drill instructor of the other branches of the military. We were “yelled at,” with choice words that an adult had never “spoken to me,” lol. We were quickly ushered through the following: uniforms, olive-green fatigues; haircuts (all of it gone); shots (oooh! that air gun was not user-friendly!), and we were also given a booklet to memorize, which contained the “Code Of Conduct,” as is shown by the link below. The purpose of Basic Military Training is to create in its graduates from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, a unified force that may be called upon to be involved in a variety of missions. Some of our military members have been killed in action (KIA). Others have been taken captive by our enemies and held under horrible conditions as prisoners of war (POW). And, others were, and still are, missing in action (MIA).
Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces of the United States
*By Executive Order signed on November 3, 1977, President Carter amended the original statement in the Code which read, “bound to give only name, rank, service number, and date of birth.” (He made the code less stringent).
The opening video of this article is that of a U.S. Marine Basic Military Training Graduation Ceremony. I love the beat of the drum as the Marines march in perfect step, with their left heel striking the ground, at the beat of the drum, at the same time. Notice the correctness of the salutes. Whenever I watch such a video, I think to myself, “I’m proud to be an American. So, you may ask, “what does military basic training have to do with the subject of Christmas? Please let me continue.
The subject of Christmas and Paganism is one that has been a topic of discussion for many years, and will probably continue to be considered for many years to come. My previous articles that have led up to Christmas of this year have shown the exposure to much of the world, of the birth of Christ, that is heavily present in many circles each year during the month of December. It is an easy observation to make, that media Christmas programs would find no space for such broadcasts during any other month of the year, outside of December.
Through media programming of Christmas programs, the subject of the birth of Christ is aired around the world, in areas that would not necessarily be open to anything positive that deals with Christ, our Lord and Savior. The Great Commission of Christ (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20) is greatly enhanced by the media through radio and tv programming, even though many of those same broadcasting companies in today’s unbelieving world have no interest at all in Christ. Still, the message of Christ goes out all over the world, through satellite each December, when the emphasis on the birth of Christ is at its greatest. Without a doubt, Christmas Day, is the “one day” of the year that much of the world comes to a halt, especially in Europe, the Americas, New Zealand, and Australia. The reason for such a halt is the celebrated “birth of Christ.” From an evangelistic perspective, Christmas is a day of witness to unbelievers, whom find themselves humming “Silent Night,” and other carols, as they walk though stores and malls listening to the soft music of the season coming through the speakers in the ceiling. We, whom have been born again and know Christ as our Lord and Savior, take that same time to reflect on the fact that our Savior came into the world as, “God with us,” (Isaiah 7:14/742 B.C./Matthew 1:23-25/4 B.C.); and, “The Almighty God,” (Isa 9:6/740 B.C.) (dates from the Scofield Study Bible).
The pagan world needs the message of “Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2), which is the message of the New Testament. The message of the Old Testament is the coming of the Messiah, “God with us.” The identity of a pagan is easy to discern; anyone whom does not know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matthew 22:32) is a pagan. Genesis 1:1 (Elohim is the first Name in the Bible of God, and comes from the Hebrew root meaning “strength” or “power”,.) Other Names of God in the Bible are: El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty); El Elyon (The Most High God); Adonai (Lord, Master); Yahweh (Lord: Yahweh refers to “the self-existent, eternal God” the name God revealed to Moses:); El Olam (The Everlasting God); Theos (God); Kurios (Lord); Despotes (Master or Lord); Abba (Father or Dearest Father).
Let’s consider Christmas in the Bible; this is an easy one. Christmas is not mentioned, or addressed, in any form, anywhere in the Bible. Some have suggested that Jeremiah discusses Christmas. But, the prophet is speaking to Israel, in the year 600 B.C., (600 years prior to the birth of Christ) definitely not about “the baby Jesus” or Christmas trees, but about idol worship. In essence, the Jewish prophets spoke to Jews about Jewish things. See the following verses of scripture.
Jeremiah 10:1-4 New English Translation (NET Bible) (The Lord, not Idols, is the Only Worthy Object of Worship)
1 You people of Israel, listen to what the Lord has to say to you. 2 The Lord says, “Do not start following pagan religious practices. Do not be in awe of signs that occur in the sky even though the nations hold them in awe. 3 For the religion of these people is worthless. They cut down a tree in the forest, and a craftsman makes it into an idol with his tools. 4 He decorates it with overlays of silver and gold. He uses hammer and nails to fasten it together so that it will not fall over.
Let’s consider whether Christians celebrating Christmas are honoring a pagan holiday. The world is full of pagans, and of pagan rituals. I don’t know of any believers in Christ that worship pagan idols on Christmas Day, or on any other day of the year.
Let’s go back to the beginning of this article, and bring the military into the discussion.
Pow (1945) Pathe cameraman Terry Ashwood and BBC war correspondent Edward Ward, who was POW for over three years, seated in Pathe studio. He was captured at Sidi Rezegh in November 1941 and released a week before filming this item.
POW Christmas 1944 – Consider the way that American soldiers celebrated Christmas. Consider the American POWs being transported in box cars to places of POW camps, where they did not if they would be tortured or executed. Look at the many American POWs that are pictured.
Silent Night – Jeff Raymond Published on Dec 26, 2008 – soldiers, airmen, marines, seamen sing silent night to our lord on Christmas eve in the Al Faw Palace Rotunda, Baghdad, Iraq
In the above videos we have learned about Christians in the military being held in POW camps, under brutal conditions. We have also learned about other POWs being moved about the Nazi empire, in horrendous conditions, not knowing if they will be tortured or executed, singing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve. The last videos shows members of the military singing “Silent Night,” in Iraq on Christmas Eve.
Without a doubt, December in Germany can be brutally cold. When I was overseas, and spent Decembers in the Philippines and Thailand, I found a very pleasant climate, even on Christmas Eve.
Weather information was important to me while I was in the Air Force. My units controlled airplanes, so weather related data was essential to the safe control of fighter jets, and other types of aircraft. Wind direction and speed; temperature, Fahrenheit and Centigrade, from ground level to 60,000 feet mean sea level, to determine contrail altitudes (a trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky) so we would know at which altitudes aircraft could be seen by other aircraft, whether “friend or foe.”
So, what do altitudes have to do with this discussion on Christmas and pagan days of celebration? As we can see in the comparison of Tucson, AZ, USA and Bethlehem, Israel, Tucson is actually further north of the equator than is Bethlehem.
Tucson, AZ USA latitude and longitude. 32.22155° N, -110.9698° E, 2390 feet above sea level.
Bethlehem, Israel latitude and longitude. 31.70424° N, 35.20629° E, 2543 feet above sea level.
Tucson’s average December temperature is 66 F, with the record high being 85 F. The record low is 21 F.
Bethlehem’s average December temperature is 59 F, with the record high being 83 F. The record low is 16 F.
Once on, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I spent that time in Tucson. I found the temperature to be very mild, in the lower 80s.
Let’s consider another comparison, with that being of north Florida and South Georgia, in the USA. Consider the following articles.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
It is very clear from John 3:3 that if we have not been spiritually born from above (a spiritual new birth), that we can not enter the time of the Kingdom Age, also known as the millennium, and the 1000 year reign of Christ, and neither can we expect to enter the eternal state of the new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2), which immediately will follow the Kingdom Age. So, either we have been spiritually born again, or we haven’t been born again. And, if we have not been again, neither will we enter the Kingdom Age, nor will we enter the eternal state; there is no fence straddling.
Let’s bring the military back into the discussion, where we will close this discussion. Are we to say that prisoners of war, if they sing “Silent Night” on December 24th or December 25th, are celebrating a pagan holiday? Are we also to say that POWs on trains to death camps were celebrating a pagan holiday if they sang “Silent Night” on December 24th or December 25th? And, consider the people of the military in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or any other place around the world. Are they also celebrating a pagan holiday if they sing “Silent Night” on December 24th or December 25th? Would it be more acceptable for these groups of believers in Christ to sing “Silent Night” a week earlier, or a week later, than December 24th of December 25th? Consider “either/or,” and “neither/nor.” Either those in the videos were celebrating a pagan holiday, or they were not. Neither, should they be free of that “stigma,” if they are found to be “guilty” of celebrating a pagan holiday. So, if soldiers can sing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, can we not, those of us whom are located all around the world, also do the same thing, and not be found guilty of celebrating a pagan holiday? Are we allowed to read about the birth of Christ, as is found in Luke 2:1-20, on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and not be found guilty of celebrating a pagan holiday? (I could go on).
Matthew 1:23-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Christmas Of Simpler Times.
These thoughts of mine were posted last December. Even though a year has passed, the memories that are so special to me cling to my soul. But, these are my memories; what about yours? Let your mind roll back, “so many years,” and let it collect some of the special times that are so special to you. You might even want to share them as a comment on this blog.
The year was 1959. The month was September. I had just started sixth grade in Gretna, Louisiana. I would spend the next three years at the same “Grammar School.” My life was common to those of my school mates. I lived in a small house that was located only about three hundred feet from my school. At lunch time, I could go home, or go to a nearby grocery store and buy a “po boy” sandwich (French or Italian bread with ham, turkey, shrimp, or oysters, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato slices). I could also have my lunch at school where we would have tasty red beans and rice, with links of smoked sausage, every Monday. I would arrive at school every day early enough that I could play basketball or jacks. I might also shoot marbles or try to sharpen my yo-yo skills. When we started our school day, we would say the pledge to the flag, and the Lord’s Prayer. We had real Christmas holidays, and real Christmas programs at school. We would sing Christmas carols, which included biblical songs. The school would give the children song sheets that showed the words of those biblical songs. Teachers were free to talk to their classes about their church lives. Most of my friends watched the same television programs. We didn’t have cable tv or dish types, so our selection was limited to traditional network programming. The programs were family oriented and were not restricted to “church and state” limitations. The Beaver Cleaver family went to church and Sunday School. Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Opie, and Gomer were shown in church, even when Gomer might fall asleep and snore during the “Reverend’s” sermons. When Christmas Eve would finally arrive, my family would sit around the tree; my younger brother and sister and I would wonder about what we would find there in the morning. As a much younger child, “I could have sworn” that sometime during the night, “I had heard reindeer sounds in the yard!” Seriously! The Christmas programs that were produced and shown by ABC, NBC, and CBS did not hide the fact that “Jesus was the reason for the season.” Television hosts did not omit “Jesus” from their discussions when they were talking about Christmas. Jesus was truly “God with us” in the tv programs of those Christmas seasons. Please take time to play the videos that I have selected, and see that there was truly a much simpler time of Christmas in our nation’s not too distant history. You will notice three mainstays of television entertainment, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Andy Williams. Neither of those men were hesitant to say the name of Christ, our Lord. Christmas programs were telecast during the month of December each year. No other month of the year would have had the audience viewership at such a level as to make the Christmas programs effective for the cause of telling of the birth of Christ. Please enjoy the videos and have a very Merry Christmas. May God bless you, and may God bless the USA!
At the time of this writing, it is nine days until Christmas eve. Earlier today, as I was driving through a sleepy area of my city, a dreary air was cast over the town. The sky was heavily cloud covered, and dark. A light mist was falling. Very few people were seen on the streets. The day seemed to match the condition of the story that I was hearing on Moody Radio, which was a feeling of utter despair for couples experiencing struggles in their marriages.
This is the fourth year that I have published this article, with this being the second time that I have published it this year. Minor changes are made each time that I update this article, but never is an update just a carbon copy of the previous post, but is due to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Each time, before I publish this article, I will listen to the videos without interruption, and each time strong emotions emerge from within me, and tears begin to flow. Today, as usual, my throat and jaw tightened, and tears would not stop finding their way onto my cheeks. But very noticeably, today, the emotions that I felt were much stronger than ever in the past, and the tears flowed much longer that I can ever remember.
The story of Jacob and Marlee is that, just a story. But, I know that their situation is one that many married couples, “are facing, have faced, or will face,” in their marriages. The conditions of this afternoon made me understand that many struggling couples need to come to the truth that they need to “not give up,” on their marriages, but to try to make their marriages work.
Not all marriages are dying, or are dead, due to infidelity, but there is a high percentage of marriages that are failing because of affairs. A thought come into my mind while I was driving today, just as it has in the past; it is still with me now, and relates to infidelity. That thought is very strong, and is this: “If you are in an affair, “GET OUT OF IT!” Just get out! Don’t wait! Just get out! Get your life right with God! Please understand that which I am saying, and that which I am not saying. I am saying that if you are in an affair, “GET OUT” of the affair; “JUST GET OUT!” “DON’T WAIT!” “JUST GET OUT!” “GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT WITH GOD!” The knight in shining armor, standing on a lush green field, may have his armor to tarnish, and the grass under his feet to turn from rich green to dirty brown. No one really can be sure if the grass is greener, until they’re standing in it.
As is recorded in the above scripture, Mary and Joseph were on their way to Bethlehem, where Mary would give birth to Jesus, the Savior of the world. Consider the story of Marlee and Jacob, and their “Christmas Eve” journey; it was being made for quite a different reason. The recording of Marlee and Jacob may be difficult for some of you; I understand that. I moderate all comments to this blog. If anybody comments on this post, I will not publish that comment without gaining permission to do so.
If you are considering a Christmas Eve “divorce papers appointment” please, let me ask you to listen carefully to the following audio recording of Marlee and Jacob, as they are on their way to sign their papers, “on Christmas Eve.” Listen very attentively. As you listen, think about your wedding vows. Think about your marriage. Think about your children. Please understand that marriage is worth fighting for.
After you have read, listened to, and watched everything that is in this post, please ask yourself a very personal question (you can answer to yourself). Here it is. When you are having a conversation on social media with a “friend” of the opposite sex, “do you get a rush, or a spark?” If your answer is “yes,” maybe social media is not something that you should have as a part of your life.
As you have learned from the video of Marlee and Jacob, they were married on Christmas Eve, “twenty years ago.” On this particular Christmas Eve, the couple is headed to an attorney’s office to sign divorce papers. Think about Marlee, Jacob, and your marriage situation. Do you remember the words that you and your mate said to each other as you stood before God, the minister, family and friends, and the rest of the people who were watching and listening as you professed your love for one another? If you have forgotten those special words, I have written some words from a traditional wedding vow for you to consider. Please read them now.
“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish…’til death do us part.”
Please understand that I have no room for spousal abuse in a marriage.
Your particular marriage may not be failing, but there are others, of whom you know, whose marriages are falling apart. Please share this post with those people.
Christmas in London! Amazing! The video, written by a Jew about the birth of the Christ Child, the Messiah, “even more amazing.” Leonard Cohen may have never even considered the significance that his song would have in the lives of people whom would be attending Christmas concerts, such as the one that this article is showing.” Consider the people that may be present in the large crowd, not having a relationship with Christ, being drawn to saving faith in Christ through Cohen’s song, in the month of December. The most amazing thing! A “God thing!”
The time of the year, December. The reason for the gathering of so many people, to honor the birth of the Christ Child, the Messiah, our Lord and Savior. The people whom are present, would not have assembled in such great numbers for this purpose in August, September, October, or in any other month of the year; only in December.
It was in about the year 66 A.D., that the Apostle Paul dispatched Titus from the city of Nicopolis, in southern Greece, to take the message of Christ to northern lands (2 Timothy 4:10, Titus 3:12). Titus went to Dalmatia, which became Yugoslavia, and is current day Croatia. From Dalmatia, the Gospel was spread further north. This London crowd is the result of such continued evangelism. From London, the gospel continued to be spread from the docks of England, and from other European countries, to lands around the world that had not heard the message of the Gospel of Christ..
Consider the words of the Fourfold Hallelujah
Revelation 19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;
3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.”
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the
throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”
5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
And, as Humphrey Bogart said in the 1942 movie, Casablanca, “play it again Sam!”
Original Big surprise for Bride and Groom…Chris and Leah Wedding 5 April 2014
A big surprise for newly married couple Chris and Leah O’Kane…
A Wedding in Ireland. The officiating Catholic Priest is Ray Kelly.
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Vietnam War: Bob Hope Christmas Special 1967 – No Words
John 15:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”
The Vietnam War; it was the war of my generation. World War II had ended in 1945. Those military members which had served, and had survived the war, returned to their homes and began to “spawn” babies, of which I am one, “a baby boomer.” The “boomer” generation included those which were birthed during the years of 1946 through 1964. The Korean War had also come and gone, lasting from 1950 through 1953.
My hero of the Second World War was my father. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and served in the Philippines and New Guinea. While in the Philippines, my father was stationed about 60 miles north of Manila. It was during the Vietnam war that I enlisted in the United States Air Force, and served in the Philippines and in Thailand. While in the Philippines, I was stationed about 60 miles north of Manila. My heroes of the Vietnam War were personal friends, two of whom did not survive the war. Randall W., of Georgia, a fourth and fifth grade baseball team member, a Marine Infantry Corporal, died in Vietnam. Jim J., of Louisiana, a tenth and eleventh grade track and field teammate, an Army Special Forces Lieutenant, died in Cambodia.
If you have noticed in the opening video, there is no singing, only the music to “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Marines in South Vietnam are shown wearing flack jackets and helmets, holding their rifles, taking off their helmets, kneeling and worshiping. A Chaplain is seen serving communion to other Marines. It is obvious that not all of those Marines that we see in the film survived the war. Many members of the active duty forces of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as members of the Reserve and National Guard, served our country well during the Vietnam War. Not all military members were assigned to stations in Vietnam, but would have gone if they had received such assignments. During the time of the Vietnam War, military chaplains spoke freely of God, and did not hide the name of Christ, our Lord and Savior.
The Bob Hope tours of 1964-1972 took place during December of each of those years. Each show ended with the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night,” and the words of Bob Hope, “Merry Christmas.” One of the few constants of the Vietnam War, one which was eagerly anticipated by American troops, was the annual Bob Hope Christmas Show. From 1964 to 1972, Bob Hope included South Vietnam on his annual trips to visit troops during the holiday season, a tradition that started for him during World War II. “Back in 1941, at March Field, California…I still remember fondly that first soldier audience,” Hope once said. “I looked at them, they laughed at me, and it was love at first sight.”
Bob Hope went to South Vietnam during December of each of those war years. He did not go during the months of August, September, October, or during any other month of the year, only during December. As has been stated above, each Bob Hope show ended with the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night.” In the next video, you will notice many U.S. military troops singing “Silent Night, Holy Night.” You will also notice how the singing of that special song has such a great emotional effect on each of those war-hardened military heroes. They all sang; they all were touched by the words of the song; but, not all of them survived the Vietnam War. Decembers of the years of the Vietnam War, when Bob Hope entertained our military troops, were special months to remember for those whom survived the war. Those which did not leave Vietnam alive, may had also received special December blessings prior to their deaths. Many of the U.S. troops, which had not known Christ as their Lord and Savior, may have been drawn by God’s Holy Spirit to belief in Christ, as they sang the words to, “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
(A G.I. is a member of the armed forces, meaning “Government Issue, such as in “G.I. Bill.”)
As you see Anita Bryant singing “Silent Night, Holy Night,” consider the song; consider the troops. Notice the expressions on each face. Realize that in a war that took 58,220 American lives, that when”Silent Night, Holy Night” was sung, no one was offended. Realize also, that as you see that large audience of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, and those of the Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves, that they didn’t all return home alive. Of those that did survive the war in Vietnam, you may know one, or some; please be sure to wish them a very Merry Christmas, and thank them for their service to our country. With the video filming having taken place fifty-three years ago, some of the G.I.s in the video may now be seniors in your family. A final note relates to members of foreign nations that also served their countries in the war on communism, along side of U.S. troops. Please express your thanks to those heroes, too. I specifically remember the names of many members of the Philippine Air Force whom served along side of me; they were wonderful people. A list of other Vietnam War foreign nations, friend and foe, is provided in the link below.
“Silent Night” (Live) by Anita Bryant with Bob Hope And Friends (1965) – Words
Where were you during the Christmas season of December 1972? Take a final look at the G.I.s, the professional entertainers and support personnel. I guarantee you, “hankies may be needed.”
Bob Hope’s Final Vietnam Christmas Tour – Notice that during each of Bob Hope’s Christmas Shows, the ending always came after Bob Hope said, “Merry Christmas, and God Bless You.” May that be our greeting this December’s Christmas season.
Leonard Cohen, who was a Jew, wrote the song of this video which tells of the birth of the Christ Child. As you view the video you will notice the expressions on the faces of the coffee shop customers. At no other time of the year, would there be such acceptance of, and appreciation for, this Hallelujah song.
It is amazing that the first day of Hanukkah is on Kislev 25 of the Jewish calendar. Christmas Day has the Gregorian Calendar date of December 25. If this song were to have been played in this particular coffee shop in August, September, October, or during any other month of the year other than December, it may not have created the same emotional response that we see in each face of the video’s coffee shop patrons. Such a response is to be expected in a Christian grouping, but whether a believer in Christ or not, this song very often resonates deeply in the minds of many people whom have never set foot in any type of church or congregation.
There are small restaurants and coffee shops in many cities and towns that present an unusual opportunity for witnessing. In my town there is a quaint and intimate coffee shop that has a piano which is situated near most of the tables where patrons drop in and spend an enjoyable time, consuming hot coffee and tasty muffins, and sharing intimate conversations. There have been times when I have been there enjoying the niceness of an evening that someone would make their way over to the piano and begin planing a series of songs that “just hit the needed spot.” The stresses of the day would seem to disappear from my mind and leave me desiring more of that soul-easing music. I imagine that there are similar places that have pianos, that can also be played for the pleasure of the customers.
Consider the setting that is shown in the video. A young man sits down at a piano in a coffee shop and begins playing a song that is pleasing to the mind of almost anybody, whether Christian, Jew or indifferent. I am certain that there are readers of this post who are musically inclined and talented, and who would like to take such an opportunity to share the message of Christ to people who are usually isolated, or insulated, from such a story of the love of God. Give it a listen; share the story. Consider adding a guitarist, or other musicians, and have a small combo. Always consider ways of creative witnessing (Acts 1:8).
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:8-14)
Cloverton is a Kansas-based band, sharing songs from a genuine place of faith and longing. Their take on Leonard Cohen’s classic 1984 hit, “Hallelujah” is the latest in over 300 covers of the song – more than any other song in history.
This may be one of the best yet, with lyrics you may not have heard before. Perfect for this Christmas.
I’ve heard about this baby boy
Who’s come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing Hallelujah
A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only Son was born, oh Hallelujah
The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You’ll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Savior, Hallelujah
A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the wisemen three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah
I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah