A Christmas Cruise – mission to explain.

Jan 20, 2017 by

by Chris Sugden, CEN: Celebrating a Christian Christmas can be difficult in twenty-first century Britain which has developed a warm oasis in the middle of winter into a retailers’ bonanza, office parties, and welcome family get-togethers (though with some strains attached). Civic authorities bring pressure to call the whole thing “Winterval” with no reference to the religious side at all – always winter and never Christmas – because offence would be caused to those of other faiths. How...

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Is Christmas Good News?

Dec 31, 2016 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo: Though it is Advent which has passed, and we are now in the Christmas season proper, because of the front-loading of most Christmas activities, it is now the season when most church leaders are breathing a sigh of relief and finally putting their feet up—assuming they didn’t on Christmas day itself. It might be a little early to plan next year’s Christmas activities (though perhaps only a little), but it might be worth reflecting on what our Christmas activities...

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What are people ‘really’ celebrating at Christmas?

Dec 27, 2016 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo: Around this time of year, there comes a recurrent debate about what people are ‘really’ doing when they celebrate Christmas. A while ago, there was a programme on Radio 4 exploring the origins of the tunes of carols. For example, the tune for Good King Wenceslas was originally a spring carol celebrating the fertility of nature. It is also commonly said that at Christmas we are ‘really’ celebrating Saturnalia, a Roman/pagan winter festival during which conventional social...

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Queen’s Speech: ‘Jesus Christ’s Example Shows Me Value Of Small Things With Great Love’

Dec 26, 2016 by

by Harry Farley, Christian Today: The Queen has said Jesus Christ’s example helps us to see the value of doing small things with great love. In her annual Christmas address broadcast at 15.00GMT, the Monarch spoke of her own faith and how she takes inspiration from his life and teaching. Her Majesty used Christ’s example to encourage people into “small acts of goodness” which she said can make a difference even when the world’s problems seem so vast. Read here...

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Who were the Magi from the East?

Dec 26, 2016 by

by Scott Lively, Defend the Family: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star [rising] in the east and have come to worship him.’ . . . and the star which they had seen…went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother...

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Music for Christmas Day: O Magnum Mysterium (Lauridsen)

Dec 25, 2016 by

Many composers over the centuries have written settings of this Latin text from the Matins of Christmas, including William Byrd and Palestrina.  This sublime setting is by the contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen, published in 1994 and sung here by the Nordic Chamber Choir.  The work has received thousands of performances and featured on at least 100 professional recordings, making it one of the most performed compositions of the last 25 years.  Lauridsen writes: For centuries...

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