As many of you may recall, Mary Magdalene, referred to our Beloved Jesus as "Rabboni" when she came upon him after his resurrection. This is to say "Master" and was a Jewish word used to address someone who was a spiritual leader or a learned one in those days. So our Beloved Master Speaks to us in our heart flames if we will hear. What does the Master Jesus whisper to us in the still small voice we hear in our minds and hearts?
Today around the world many of us celebrate Valentine's Day. The unofficial holiday is usually celebrated by giving flowers, cards, candy or other gifts to those we love. We wish everyone we meet "happy Valentine's Day", and in our modern technological world we post on social media to tell all of our friends and family "happy Valentine's Day". But how often do we really stop to think about this holiday and what it means? I would like to start with a little bit of research into that exact question. Where did this tradition originate and how did it begin? Let's take a look.
Today's article is simple. It's just winter. Happy Winter Solstice everyone!
As most of you are probably aware, we have the wonder "Star Of Bethlehem" shining bright in the sky until Christmas day, which began to be seen on or just before the Winter Solstice on Dec 21, and can still be seen when gazing toward the southwest for most of us in the Northern hemisphere, just after the sun goes down, until Christmas Day.
For those of you, who like me, were born in the winter or grew up in areas where, in the winter it was snowy and white, you may have a special appreciation for wintery snow covered landscapes. Speaking for myself I love the snow covered landscapes of winter in the northern states of the United States and miss it very much since moving to warmer climes. But I suspect even those of you born in warmer climates still appreciate the beauty of these snow covered landscapes.
Vivalidi's "Winter" from "Four Seasons"
This long beloved Christmas carol is originally a French carol. It was first published in the 1855 the Nouveau Recueil de Cantiques hymn book. The story in the song is based upon Luke 2:14. Below is the original French version of which there is no known author.
Good King Wenceslas is a Christmas Carol that tells the story of a king's journey through harsh winter landscape, in order to bring alms to a poor family after he sees a man collecting firewood on his land from the castle tower during the Feast of Stephen on December 26, known as the second day of Christmas. It's actually a true story of Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (c. 907–935 AD)
The story of this joyous Christmas carol takes us around a few twists and turns on its way to our holiday doorstep. It meanders around the creation of a poem by Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and then winds its way to the music taken from a composition by Felix Mendelssohn more than 100 years after it was written, to its final destination as the upbeat rhythm and current lyrical version.
The hymn "Joy to the World" was originally written as a poem based upon the 98th Psalm. Psalm 98:4 reads "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise". Isaac Watts, a minister who lived from 1674 to 1748, would be surprised to find that his poem has become one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time. Later a famous hymn writer, Lowell Mason, took the poem and adapted music written by George Friedrich Handel to become the joyful song of praise. It is also of interest that the song is not really a Christmas song, but rather a song of joy based upon the second coming of Christ, when Christ would reign in the world.
The most fantastically beautiful and popular religious music of all time, George Freidrich Handel's Messiah was written in just 24 days. The climactic ending of the second part, the Hallelujah Chorus stirs the soul so deeply, it is said that Handel himself cried tears of joy and shouted out that he had seen the face of God. Even King George II, it is said, stood up at this point of the 1743 London premiere performance. Thus was born the traditional standing of the audience through that towering crescendo of voices.
Beethoven said of Handel, "He is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb."
I found the story of the Christmas carol we know as "Carol of the Bells" quite fascinating. Its lovely tones and melody have been a part of our Christmas traditions for nearly 100 years, yet its origin is quite unlike what we have grown so familiar with and loved for so long.
The origins and celebrations of Hanukkah.
Although Hanukkah is considered a minor Jewish Festival, it has become ranked along with Passover and Purim as one of the most beloved Jewish holidays filled with lights and joy and family celebrations.
This year Hanukkah begins on December 10 and lasts through December 18.
In keeping with the theme of Christmas, here is a child's old Christmas story. I loved this story as a child and in fifth grade was in a play at school of this story. "But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.." Matthew 19:14 KJV
This translation is by Margaret Hunt, 1884.
"According to legend, Clement Clarke Moore wrote his immortal poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, for his family on Christmas Eve 1822. He never intended that it be published, but a family friend, Miss Harriet Butler, learned of the poem sometime later from Moore's children. She copied it into her album, and submitted it to the editor of the Troy (New York) Sentinel where it made its first appearance in print on December 23, 1823. Soon, the poem began to be reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs and magazines, with the first appearance in a book in The New York Book of Poetry, edited by Charles Fenno Hoffman, in 1837."
According to one expert on planetary alignments, the Star of Bethlehem may have been a rare planetary alignment that we will never see again. What does that mean? It means that the the Three Wise Men as we know them were not only following the Star astrologically but also astronomically. Very wise men indeed. It also means that this year of 2020 is a very important year and that prophetic and astronomical things are happening before our very eyes.