Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2018 Isaiah 9:2.

Isaiah 9:2.   The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
 
And then it was Sunday…Christmas Sunday…Yay! Just imagine friends, only two more days and it’s here; one of the biggest and best days ever in the history of mankind; the day when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give the Father much thanks and praise for sending His only Son as a human to dwell amongst us and show us His holy ways! 

And as always, when we gather in His sanctuary on a Sunday we open with praise and worship, exalting His name and softening our hearts so that we can receive His holy Word. And today we’re singing that magnificent and well-known, traditional Christmas hymn, ‘Silent Night’ (“Stille Nacht” in its original German). 

‘The song was originally a poem written by pastor Joseph Franz Mohr and composed by his friend Franz Xaver Gruber in early 19th century Austria. Pastor Mohr desperately needed a carol for the Christmas Eve midnight mass that was only hours away, and he hoped Gruber – a school teacher as well as the church’s choir master and organist – could set his poem to music; he composed the melody in just a few hours on that Christmas Eve. 

The melody used today (a slow, meditative lullaby or pastorale) is slightly different from Gruber’s original (a moderato tune in 6/8 time and siciliana rhythm), particularly in the final strain. The English translation we most frequently sing today was written and published by Episcopal priest John Freeman Young in 1859, who translated three verses of Mohr’s original six.’ 

So now that we know something about the song’s origins, let’s sing it with heartfelt praise and gratitude nuh. As one earthly choir now! ‘Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born! 

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, LOVE’S pure light; Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, our Saviour’s birth changed the world like nothing before it ever has! As the prophet Isaiah declared long before it happened: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ 

Yes my people, Christ’s birth brought the light of heaven to earth where many were living in darkness and evil. And unfortunately, two thousand years later, too many of us are still living in darkness and evil! 

And Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, when he had regained his voice, after being struck dumb for not believing the angel Gabriel’s promise of a son in his old age, (Luke 1:11-20) also spoke of God’s redemption of His people, on the day that John was presented to the Lord. 

‘And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.’ (Luke 1:67-75) 

Yeh friends, please note those provisos: ‘serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives.’ God’s promises weren’t any fly by night stuff; they had a definite purpose behind them!

And if you don’t believe, then the scholars point us to ‘1:73: See Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-6; 22:15-18).’ Yes friends, that’s a list of the promises God made to Abraham, every one of which He kept! Please check them out for yourselves. I just did! 

But Zechariah was not done with prophesying. Having spoken of Jesus, he turned to his son, John: ‘And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins,

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring (Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:76-79) 

That’s why John is known as the forerunner of Christ; he was sent to prepare the way for Christ’s coming. And the scholars give an interesting explanation of ‘1:78: Dayspring means “dawn” and figuratively refers to the coming of the Messiah. The clause should be translated, “Dawn from heaven will visit us.” That is the Messiah from heaven will come to help us. God’s messianic deliverance is often expressed as the bursting forth of a great light.’ 

Ah mih people, this Christmas season, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, please, please let’s allow that great light to burst forth in our lives nuh, so that we can be delivered out of all the darkness that currently covers us! Much LOVE!

…for with thee is the fountain of life…in thy light…shall we see light… (Ps.36:9)  

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, but I had to go to church first…And anyway, it’s still enlightening! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: