Friday, December 31, 2010
According to Roger Ebert - with whom I generally agree -- they are:
1 The Social Network
2 The King's Speech
3 Black Swan
4 I am Love
5 Winter's Bone
7 The Secret in their Eyes
8 The American
9 Kids are All Right
10 The Ghost Writer
Of those I have only seen: The King's Speech, Inception and The Ghost Writer.
Friday, December 24, 2010
The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
In our family Christmas Eve is almost always an occasion for some rousing singing. Whether at a church service or around the family Christmas tree we love to celebrate the coming of Jesus as a babe in Bethlehem, through music. After all the Bible pretty much commands it in this Psalm and many others. Shout for joy! Burst into jubilant song! Make music to the Lord. Those don’t sound like mild suggestions to me. Do they to you? Be sure to sing the praises of Jesus today.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Doctor Luke’s careful account of the birth of Jesus included this detail that the other writers left out. Once Zechariah had named his miracle baby John - and as a result regained his ability to speak - he sang an amazing Holy Spirit inspired song of praise. I wish I knew the tune - don’t you? But we do have the lyrics recorded for us here at the end of Luke’s first chapter -- “because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (1:78-79)
Obviously our man Zech knew his Old Testament -- in just this short section of his song he riffs on Malachi’s prophecy about the sun rising with healing in its rays, and he alludes to Isaiah’s words concerning the light shining on those who lived in the land of darkness. (Mal. 4:2, Isa 9:2) Great hymns and classic scripture passages provide a spiritual vocabulary to enrich and inspire our faith. Treasure them.
For centuries God’s people have celebrated his presence with singing. This Christmas make sure you take time to sing songs of praise to Christ the King.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Isaiah 40:9-20 – Here again we hear echoes of Handel’s Messiah (I’m actually listening to it on YouTube as I write this.) This time it is the less familiar “O Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion.”
Again the lyrics are directly from the KJV translation of verse 9 and 10. The verses that follow celebrate the fact that our God is both mighty and gentle. Our God is the Sovereign Lord who possesses both a strong right arm and a comforting embrace.
He can knock the enemy for a loop and he can carry a lamb close to his heart. Remember today as we inch 24 hours closer to Christmas that Jesus is both full of power and of kindness.