Archive for the ‘Advent/Christmas/Epiphany’ Category

Season’s Greetings Postcard   Leave a comment

April 29, 1911

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Postmarked April 29, 1911

At the end of each year I hear and see nonsense about a “War on Christmas,” with sayings such as “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” as alleged evidence.  I come from a long line of Christmas keepers who have had no hesitation using “Season’s Greetings” cards.  And I recall hearing the Andy Williams version of “Happy Holidays” at home when growing up.  None of this corrupted my soul with a secular, Godless agenda. Besides, with the grouping of holidays at the end of the year, “Season’s Greetings” does have the benefit of succinctness.

And I keep Advent for weeks before I observe all twelve days of Christmas.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ARMAGH

A Joyful Christmas Postcard   Leave a comment

December 26, 1909

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Postmarked December 26, 1909

Cheerful Christmas Greeting, 1909   Leave a comment

December 25, 1909

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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December 25, 1909

Posted March 11, 2014 by neatnik2009 in Advent/Christmas/Epiphany

Tagged with ,

General Good Will   1 comment

General Good Will

Above:  The Beginning of the Original Text

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDITOR’S COMMENTS:

With this post I begin a new round of George W. Barrett material.  I retrieved more documents from Americus, Georgia, over a week ago.

This page came from a journal.  I do not know who removed it from that book or when or why, but the page number “190” leads me to wonder what I might never read from the previous pages.  The other side, “189,” completes a sermon, but I lack page 188.

I have made an educated guess regarding the verse number for this sermon.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 1, 2014 COMMON ERA

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Luke 2, 14

I.

Man’s heart is at enmity with God–rebelling against his will.

And it is at strife with his brother.  Sin and strife are the curse of the world.

II.

Religion is an experience of peace with God and man.  Strife is of the devil and contrary to the genius of Christianity.  Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil–to save man from sin and strife.  He who loves God loves all men.

III.

How the world needs this general good will toward all men!

(1)  Between man and man.  How hurtful is ill will and suspicion; how sweet is concord.  The golden rule is so fitting and helpful.

(2)  In the business world.  Shall life be one long warfare waged for self alone?  We are brethren.  “I pray thee let there be no strife between thee and me,” etc.  This is no time for stirring up strife.  Let good will be our slogan.

(3)  In political and national affairs.  If we do n ot bury our strife we cannot pay our debts.  Good will can stay much trouble as we labor the common good.

IV.

Suppose God were not kindly disposed toward us.  Are we willing for him to be hostile toward us?  Then let us be kindly affectioned one toward another.  “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  It is good business and good religion too.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Bird Buffet   2 comments

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Above:  The Second Draft of the Poem

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Birds alight

in the light and in shadows

to gather in a backyard

to dine on a mass

of birdseed on Christmas Eve.

I watch them through glass

and enjoy the sight

of avian grazing

so close yet

at a proper distance.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 24, 2013 COMMON ERA

It Really is Christmas!   Leave a comment

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Above:  Live Nativity, St. Teresa’s Episcopal Church, Acworth, Georgia, December 22, 2012

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5824581108495648417/5824871211139750642?banner=pwa&pid=5824871211139750642&oid=114749828757741527421)

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It really, truly is Christmas!

And nothing have I to bring,

Nothing have I purchased

To give to this baby-King!

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No baubles or garlands or tinsel

Have I to hang near this manger bed,

No tags or soft cuddly blankets,

Only my heart’s yearning instead.

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A yearning have I to live closer

To Him every single day,

To show His great love to others

As I go along Life’s way;

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A glowing face that quickly smiles

At others on Life’s road;

A spirit that grows sweeter

As He lifts my heavy load.

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Compassion for these who are burdened,

Who seem held in the grip of despair;

A prayer for all who hunger

For His warm and loving care.

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A cheery word to all I meet,

A smile of joy and peace

That comes to those who’ve found

His comfort and release.

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These, yes these are the things I can bring

To Christ as my gifts today;

To lay at His nail-pierced feed

In gratitude for Christmas Day!

NELL BARRETT TAYLOR

CHRISTMAS, 1976

The World’s Reception of Jesus   3 comments

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Above:  The Infant Christ Rewarding the Martyred Innocents of Bethlehem

From the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Photograph Taken Between 1898 and 1914

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/mpc2004007340/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-07279

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

First Century C.E. Palestinian Judaism was diverse–so much so that perhaps one ought to refer to “First Century C.E. Palestinian Judaisms” instead.  My great-grandfather oversimplified this matter greatly, as did many others of his generation.  Unfortunately, many of my generation persist in the error.

Furthermore, blanket condemnations of “the Jews” risk sounding anti-Semitic even when that is not the speaker’s or writer’s intention.

And the Magi/Wise Men belong properly to Epiphany (January 6), not Christmas.  The text says that they arrived at “the house” at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:11).  The shepherds come from Luke 2:8-20.  Nativity scenes have conflated two stories set at different times and many people have followed suit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

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CHRISTMAS SERMON

Jno. 1, 11-12

On coming to earth, his creation, and to men, his creatures, Jesus was accorded a different reception by different people, and is to to this day.

I.

1.  The Jewish nation at first treated him with indifference.  The rulers were at first troubled with Herod.  But when they saw that he came of humble, poor parentage, they simply ignored him.  They were not accustomed to bow to earth’s poor.  Later they were hostile.

2.  Herod was troubled at his coming, as uncommon things were spoken of him.  He tried to secure his death lest he become King.

3.  The Shepherds and wise men were glad to greet him and worship at this feet.

II.

The destinies of men and nations depend upon the reception they accord him.

1.  In rejecting him the Jews rejected their only religious & political Saviour.  No wonder he wept over the unrepentant city.

2.  Herod soon died under the curse of Almighty God.

3.  The Shepherds and wise men found peace, joy & heaven at last.  He desires to save all and does save all who receive him by faith–“that believe on his name.”

III.

What, then, is your attitude toward him?  Do you half believe you can do without him?  Receive him; he is your all.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Prepare the Way of Jehovah   2 comments

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Above:  Highway Crossing the Desert in Sandoval County, New Mexico, April 1940

Photographer = Russell Lee (1903-1986)

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fsa2000017214/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-035924-D

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

The proper English-language interpretation of the Tetragammaton with vowels is “Yahweh,” not “Jehovah,” which is a Medieval creation.  My great-grandfather therefore erred when using “Jehovah” as did many others, including some who translated the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Isa. 40, 3-5

1.  All God’s mercies are conditioned.  Necessarily is it so & a great blessing it is.

2.  So it is in the text.  The King of earth and heaven would visit his people and bestow rich blessings upon them.  But there are conditions to be met ere He come and we can profit by His coming.  We are in a desert and need to cast up a highway for our God.

(1)  Indifference a great mountain that must be removed.  God can’t help those who have no interest in divine things.

(2)  Doubt is a deep valley that must be filled.  Unbelief is sin.  God is hampered by it (Matt. 13, 58).  Doubt and distrust such a God as He?

(3)  Sin the great mountain in the way.  It must be repented of, forsaken, gotten from between the soul and God.

3.  Then He will come to Zion and bless her with the riches of His grace.  He ever thus responds to such a turning to Him.

Will we meet the conditions or will we block the way?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Good Will Toward Men   1 comment

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Above:  Adoration of the Shepherds (1622), by Gerard van Honthorst (1590-1656)

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Luke 2, 14

1.  The Book reveals to us so faithfully the dangers of our condition.

2.  It also reveals to us so clearly the blessedness to which we are invited.

3.  We must accept offered mercy if it avails.

4.  Unbelief is our plea for not accepting the terms of peace.

Shall perishing islanders refuse through unbelief transportation to a more blessed abode?

God will not accept this plea.

5.  The object of this good will–men of every condition in life.  It is for all if only they will receive.

Have you accepted it?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Angels Sing His Praises   1 comment

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Above:  Live Nativity Scene, St. Teresa’s Episcopal Church, Acworth, Georgia, December 21, 2012

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://picasaweb.google.com/114749828757741527421/StTeresaSEpiscopalChurchLiveChristmasNativity?noredirect=1#5824584516191168562)

Luke 2, 14

Angels tell of his birth.  Their song is heaven’s interpretation of his mission.

1.  “Glory to God in the highest.”  His work is cause for adoration by the angels.  The results of his work will be the same.  It illustrates afresh the love of God for man.

2.  “Peace on earth.”  The Prince of Peace is come to bring peace to men.  He comes to reconcile the world unto the Father and to give men peace among themselves.  Under the benign sway strife shall cease.

3.  “Goodwill toward men.”   It all expresses God’s good will toward men.  Giving his Son we know he will wills us good.  It takes just whatever form our need suggests.

A.  Revelation of the Father’s love

B.  Revelation of our sinfulness

C.  Then he died to redeem us, opening up the way to heaven.

Then let us join the angels in ascribing praises to him who has shown us such good will; and catch the same spirit.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT