What is your favorite Christmas Song? Most people in the United States would say “Silent Night”. It was the only song my dad would sing and then only once per year. His rich baritone would fill the Church. Now for my grandfather it was “O Christmas Tree” sung in German usually with a toddy or two for support. For my aunt and mom it was traditional Polish Christmas melodies.
I used to sing in choirs for over 25 years and I didn’t have a great voice but was faithful. My favorite Christmas Carol is “Lo how a rose ‘er blooming”. It is a German Carol ,”Es ist ein ros estsprungen”. I like the three-part choral arrangement the best. The words are as follows”
“Lo how a rose e’re blooming from tender stem has sprung. Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung. It came a flowret bright, Amid the cold of winter when half spent was the night”. A modern-day version is sung by Linda Ronstadt who has a Christmas album published in 2000. It is a good recording. This will get me in the mood for tonight and the season. It brings a tear to my eye and the warm fuzzy’s. This brings us to the scripture readings for today.
” (Nathan the prophet speaking to David) … Your house and your kingdom are firm forever before me; your throne shall be firmly established forever.” (2 Samuel 7: 16) In our carol it speaks of Jesse who is Davids father and the lineage of David to Jesus. From last Saturday’s Gospel Matthew 1:17 gives us the summary of the generations to Jesus ” Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.” As Julie Young posted in her reflection on this reading last Saturday, generations are so important and our connections to them. My wife is our ancestry.com resource person. It can be a treasure hunt and lead to dead ends but still the connection is so important to us as individuals and our place in the scheme of things.
In the Gospel reading of today in Luke, Zechariah who was John the Baptist father makes two prophesies about generations. The first is the fulfillment of a Savior in the person of Jesus Christ that was promised to Abraham. Through the generations the promise was fulfilled. The second prophesy was the that Zechariah’s, son would ” go before the Lord to prepare his way”. All this happened 2016 years ago or there about. The important thing is the connection of generations and the fulfillment of the promise of God to Abraham and continues to us today. Every year and in every generation we have to appreciate that connection and praise our God who made that promise.
We live in a time much like Jesus did when He was born. Jesus was born under an oppressive government, the Romans. We live is a violent cruel world, abortion, the children of Aleppo or the Holy Innocents or victims of a Christmas market in Berlin. Not much has changed in today’s world, has it?
The second verse of “Lo how a rose er blooming” describes the promise made by Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14) made that a savior would be born of a virgin. What has changed between Abraham and now is that we have a Savior and “Holy is His Name”. There is hope. Our Savior was born for us today and not only hope for us but for future generations. We need to reaffirm or establish that relationship everyday with that Savior. In addition, we need to do it for ourselves, as well as, for the generations of our family and friends that look to us as an example.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.
Prayer: We pray that all generations my come to know and love and live the promise of Psalm 89:4-5 and may His throne stand firm for all generations to come. Praise be to God!
Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8B-12,14A, 16; Psalm 89:2-3,4-5,27& 29; Luke 1:67-79