From the monthly archives:

December 2007

Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 31, 2007

Continuing with a look at some of Charles Wesley’s nativity hymns…
O mercy divine,
How could’st thou incline
My God to become such an infant as mine?
What a wonder of grace!
The ancient of days
Is found in the likeness of Adam’s frail race.
[...]

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“Lost Christmas”

by Kim on December 30, 2007

He is alone, it is Christmas.
Up the hill go three trees, the three kings.
There is a star also
Over the dark manger. But where is the Child?
Pity him. He has come far
Like the tress, matching their patience
With his. But the mind was before
Him on the long road. The manger is empty.
R.S. Thomas

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‘Very Religious’ Town Ditches 666 Area Code

by Richard on December 30, 2007

A Louisiana town has won the right to give up its 666 phone prefix
A small, highly religious town in southwest Louisiana has finally gained the right to change their 666 area code, which they consider a stigma.
For 40 years the town of Reeves, La., has battled to change the phone prefix, but has failed at [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 30, 2007

Although it was not until the Victorian period that the modern Christmas celebration was invented, Charles Wesley’s volume Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord went through 26 editions in his own lifetime. Where the Victorians would give us a sentimental vision of the baby in a manger, Wesley focusses on the mystery and paradox [...]

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Methodist response to the killing of Benazir Bhutto

by Richard on December 29, 2007

Christine Elliot, World Church Secretary for Asia and the Pacific, says;
‘Thursday 27 December was a very sad day, especially for the people of Pakistan. The shocking killing of Benazir Bhutto has been a desperate blow for the fragile hope of a new democratic government in the elections planned for 8 January 2008.
‘The situation in the [...]

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Smallest Bible?

by Richard on December 29, 2007

Researchers at Haifa Institute of Technology reckon to haveprinted the world’s smallest Bible.
Researchers in Israel say they have succeeded in putting a version of the Bible on a chip smaller than a pinhead.
Its 300,000 words in Hebrew were inscribed on a silicon surface at the Haifa Institute of Technology.
Scientists say the aim of the project [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 29, 2007

Angels speak, let man give ear,
Sent from high,
They are nigh,
And forbid our fear.
News they bring us of salvation,
[...]

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Ukulele quest approaches its end

by Richard on December 28, 2007

From BBC Scotland
A musician who challenged herself to play a ukulele concert on every day of the year is nearing her goal.
Eilidh MacAskill has crossed the globe to play gigs and won fans around the world while carrying out her quest.
The 27-year-old, from Glasgow, has played venues in New York, Nova Scotia and at the [...]

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“Star Song”

by Kim on December 28, 2007

Glimmers from stars
have flickered all year long,
and now, at its close,
when the planets
are shining through frost,
radiance runs like music in the bones,
and the heart keeps rising
at the sound of any song,
or with the silver calling
of a bell,
rounding, high and clear,
flying, falling,
sounding the death knell
of our old year,
telling of the new appaearing
of Christ, our Morning Star.
Now, [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 28, 2007

Where is the holy heaven-born child,
Heir of the everlasting throne,
Who heaven and earth hath reconciled,
And God and man rejoined in one?
[...]

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“I Saw a Stable”

by Kim on December 27, 2007

I saw a stable, low and very bare,
A little child in a manger.
The oxen knew Him, and had Him in their care,
To men He was a stranger.
The safety of the world was lying there,
And the world’s danger.
Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 27, 2007

GLORY be to God on high,
And peace on earth descend!
God comes down, and bows the sky,
And shows himself our friend!
God the invisible appears;
God, the blest, the great I AM,
Sojourns in this vale of tears,
And Jesus is his name.
Him the angels all adored,
Their Maker and their King.
Tidings of their humbled Lord
They now to mortals bring.
Emptied of [...]

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“At the Manger Mary Sings”

by Kim on December 26, 2007

O shut your bright eyes that mine must endanger
With their watchfulness; protected by its shade
Escape from my care: what can you discover
From my tender look but how to be afraid?
Love can but confirm the more it would deny.
Close your bright eye.
Sleep. What have you learned from the womb that [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 26, 2007

To us a Child of royal birth,
Heir of the promises, is given;
The Invisible appears on earth,
The Son of Man, the God of Heaven.
A Saviour born, in love supreme
He comes our fallen souls to raise;
He comes His people to redeem
With all His plenitude of grace.
The Christ, by raptured seers foretold,
Filled with the eternal Spirit’s power,
Prophet, and [...]

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Creation adds its “Amen!”

by Kim on December 25, 2007

For those of you not daft enough to go for a five-mile run at Christmas dawn, I can assure you that creation is adding its “Amen!” to the birth of our Lord - and their Lord too: the waves were breaking, the brooks bubbling, the ravens cawing, the owls hooting - and a mother fox [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 25, 2007

ALL glory to God in the sky,
And peace upon earth be restored!
O Jesus, exalted on high,
Appear our omnipotent Lord!
Who, meanly in Bethlehem born,
Didst stoop to redeem a lost race,
Once more to thy creatures return,
And reign in thy kingdom of grace.
When thou in our flesh didst appear,
All nature acknowledged thy birth;
Arose the acceptable year,
And heaven was [...]

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Happy Christmas!

by Richard on December 24, 2007

One of the remarkable things about this blogging lark is the way that it really does enable a sense of community, even across international and cultural boundaries. Is it “far-fetched” to claim that this strange internet activity might have a small part to play in bringing the angels’ song of “Peace on Earth” just a [...]

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“Meditation on the Nativity”

by Kim on December 24, 2007

All gods and goddesses, all looked up to
And argued with and threatened. All that fear
Which man shows to the very old and new -
All this, all these have gone. They disappear
In fables coming true,
In acts so simple that we are amazed -
A woman and a child. He trusts, she soothes.
Men see serenity [...]

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Methodist blogs

by Richard on December 24, 2007

Just in time for Christmas, the latest round-up of the Methodist blogosphere from the splendid Allan R. Bevere.

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Christmas carolling

by Richard on December 23, 2007

Christmas carolling may be dying, but it’s not dead yet. I went out last night with a group of about a dozen, mostly children and young people, to sing a few carols around the streets of Sketty. And, I must say, a good time was had by all. There is something very splendid about singing [...]

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