Archive for the ‘Advent/Christmas/Epiphany’ Category

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

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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

Christmas Sermon   1 comment

Church of the Nativity

Above:  Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestine, Between 1898 and 1946

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/mpc2004006372/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-06295

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Luke 2, 10-11

“Prepare thy timber without in the filed and here build thy house.”  The Lord prepared the world for Christ’s coming.

1.  His birth in Bethlehem.  The angels sing for joy at his coming.  Shepherds visit him.  Let us go with them.

Study him

(1) Condecension.  Became poor for our sakes.  From throne to manger.

(2)  Omnipotent arm, omniscient head, shoulders to bear the government of worlds, face to shed tears of light & sympathy, tongue to speak as never man spake, on his words men will hang their all, hands to cool the fevered brow and be pierced at last, heart to yearn over us & break at last in pity.  That form will carry our sorrows.

2.  “Fear not,” ’tis a message or love and tenderness; all is well.  For his sake God will hear the cries of sinful man.  “For a Saviour  is born.”  Just what we need.  Without him all would be despair.  “Christ the Lord,” “The mighty God.”

3.  “Bring x joy.”  The world has longed for a Saviour; now he is here.  Joy to sin-sick, helpless souls of men.

Brings institutions of Christianity for the bodies and souls of men, a home in heaven at last for all who believe him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Advent Renewal   Leave a comment

Snapshot_20121202

Above:  The Author on December 2, 2012

The cycle turns

from the Season after Pentecost

to Advent again;

Christ is King,

the announcement of the end of the old order

makes room for

the announcement of the new order.

Soon (liturgically),

a child will be born defenseless

into a dangerous world,

and, today,

I recall that perfidy must never

extinguish innocence and love.

The church year begins again

in apprehension and hope

and in the shadow of Calvary and an empty tomb–

again, apprehension and hope.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 3, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARUTHAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MAYPHERKAT AND MISSIONARY TO PERSIA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERNARD OF PARMA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY IN ASIA

THE FEAST OF JOHN OWEN SMITH, UNITED METHODIST BISHOP IN GEORGIA

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Posted December 3, 2012 by neatnik2009 in Advent/Christmas/Epiphany, Kenneth Randolph Taylor 2012

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Christmas is Here   Leave a comment

Above:  A Nativity Play

Image Source = First Presbyterian Church, Edmond, Oklahoma

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Childrens_Nativity_Play_2007.jpg)

At a Christmas pageant,

Young girls playing angels

Surround boys playing shepherds.

The narrator says of the shepherds,

“They were terrified.”

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Adorable–not terrifying–angels,

Christmas carols,

Episcopal pomp and circumstance,

A plethora of incense–

Christmas is here.

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Visiting in Americus,

Singing with a church choir not my own,

Attending a church I have come to like

Yet which is distant from my home–

Feeling comfortable there–

Christmas is here.

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For all the darkness,

Fears, and

Uncertainties

Of our lives,

We have reasons to rejoice–

God is with us–

Christmas is here.

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For all our pain and sorrow,

We have reasons to rejoice–

A child is born for us–

Christmas is here.

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Despite all that we have lost,

We have reasons to rejoice–

A son is born to us–

Christmas is here.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 27, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

Noise Pollution   2 comments

Above:  A Television Set

Image Source = Ma8thew

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hd_tv_samsung_LE26R41BD.jpg)

I seek

Peace

And

Quiet

Yet

The television is on

In the other room,

So I sequester myself

Or

Take a walk.

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Off,

Damned television!

Come hither,

Silence!

Be gone,

Vacuous programming!

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Reading,

Writing,

Contemplating–

These I want more and more,

So that I may listen for–

And perhaps hear–

A voice of God.

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But first the heartwarming Hallmark Channel

Christmas movie,

Which will give me spiritual diabetes

If I watch it,

Must go;

It gets in the way

Of silence.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 23, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF KANTY, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHARBEL, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MONK

THE FEAST OF GERALD R. FORD, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, VICE PRESIDENT, AND PRESIDENT

THE FEAST OF PERCY SUTTON, CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEER

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A Related Post:

http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/liberation-from-television/

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