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Christmas Letter 2011

Advent / Christmas, 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

            May the grace and peace of God’s Word, made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, be with you!

            I am always amazed at how the season of Christmas, more than any other liturgical season in the Church year, has produced such memorable hymnody and carols, from the ancient and medieval texts to modern and contemporary texts.  Each carol speaks of the mystery we celebrate.  God loves the world so much and desires to redeem us that he sent his own Son, Jesus, born of our sister, Mary and parented as well by our brother, Joseph.

            Each year, at this time, I try to focus my prayer and reflection on one carol or hymn.  I’d like to share these words of the carol I’m centering on this Advent and Christmas.  The words and melody were written by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne, in October of 1962, in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I was amazed to discover this…and while it is not a TRADITIONAL carol or hymn, it holds our attention by its words and melody.

Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky little lamb, do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite, with a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear?
Ringing thru the sky shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the tree

With a voice as big as the sea, with a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, do you know what I know?
In your palace warm mighty king, do you know what I know?
A child, a child, shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold, let us bring him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere, listen to what I say!
Pray for peace people everywhere, listen to what I say!
The child, the child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,

He will bring us goodness and light

            The text of this carol focuses our attention on the Christ Child and the desire and need we have for peace throughout the world!  The words are also an affirmation of our ability to participate in peace making!  The grace, wonder and humility of the Christmas Story are experienced most profoundly through the eyes of children.  In the vulnerability and tenderness of a child, God came to dwell with us!  I encourage you to choose a hymn to focus on during the Advent and Christmas season.  Begin and end your day by praying it.  I have found that it helps me to center in on some key images and ideas in preparing for Christmas.

Our Christmas Service schedule is:

Christmas Eve      

4:30 p.m.  Children’s Service Prelude Music

5 p.m.       Children’s Service with Holy Eucharist

10 p.m.     Service of Carols

10:30 p.m.  Christmas Choral Eucharist

Christmas Day     

9 a.m.     Christmas Eucharist

             If you would like to give a Christmas Flower offering in memory or thanksgiving, please place an envelope in the Offering Basin or mail it back to the Parish Office no later than 22 December.

            Be assured of my continuing prayer and gratitude for the privilege of ministering among you.  May Christ, our Christmas Rose, whose coming we await, find a place of welcome in you this Christmas!



Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Debbie Davisson
    December 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Doug, I enjoyed reading your Christmas letter. It was nice using a Carol to help us ask those same questions those shepherds and wise must have asked themselves when they came upon the baby Jesus. Love you and hope to see around Christmas.

  2. Trish Braga
    December 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Thank you so much for this reflection. I, too, am amazed to learn that Do You Hear What I Hear was written in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis – I just assumed the carol was “older” than that. It’s one of my favorites, and now I will reflect on it a little differently.

  3. Robin
    December 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Thank you Doug. The hymn is a favorite Christmas hymn of mine, and now brings deeper meaning.

  4. Tami Walker
    December 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I love that song yet have not heard or sung it in years. Thanks for sharing the history – I think it makes it even more meaningful!

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