Joyful, Joyful

I’ve watched this video several times today and each time end up with tears in my eyes. The melody is Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the words are from the poem Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee by Henry van Dyke. It’s not a christmas hymn, but it is a beautiful reminder of the joy that surrounds the advent of Christ.

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds the Holy Trinity
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.

—Henry van Dyke

The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

—Isaiah 9:6-7, ESV

What Jesus Did At The Incarnation

The infinite, unlimited one, became finite and took the limitations of a baby.
The immortal, undying one, became mortal and took a body that could die.
The omnipresent, everywhere one, located himself in one spot.
The invisible, unseen one, became visible and his glory was beheld.
The all wise, all knowing one, learned obedience and laid aside omniscience.

—Jim Hamilton

Via: Jim Hamilton

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled:
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With the angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem:
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel:
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings;
Mild, he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth:
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

—Charles Wesley and George Whitefield

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Christmas

Who among us will celebrate Christmas right? Those who finally lay down all their power, honor, and prestige, all their vanity, pride, and self-will at the manger, those who stand by the lowly and let God alone be exalted, those who see in the child in the manger the glory of God precisely in this lowliness. Those who say, along with Mary, “The Lord has regarded my low estate. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Mystery of Holy Night

Via: Tony Reinke