O Come O Come Emmanuel (Part 2)

It gets better!  I just found that one of my favorite independent music artists – Lindsey Stirling – recorded her own rendition of “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” The violin has such a melodious sound and the piano provides a beautiful accompaniment.  Best of all is the music video with a very inspirational message. Check it out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozVmO5LHJ2k

P.S. Yes, I do have one minor qualm with the video and would challenge the whole “Be true to yourself” message, but I won’t lose the forest for the trees. Again, I am thankful for this carol, the talented performances, the gifts that God has blessed me with, and the gift of His son above all else.

Video

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Hard to believe we have arrived at the end of another calendar year already, but it’s advent season.  That means, among many other things, that Thanksgiving has passed and it is now permissible to play Christmas carols!  My absolute favorite is “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”

For many, they would see that as an unusual choice because O Come O Come Emmanuel doesn’t fit the stereotypes of a Christmas tune.  The music is written in a minor key, which makes it sound mysterious and eerie.  It has no culturally relevant subjects, i.e. no Santa Claus, no tree trimmings, no bells or sleighs.  Yet it does have the same effect as many other carols which is to bring great anticipation to this Christmas season.

I appreciate the theological richness of its lyrics, how it not only helps me to reflect upon the birth of Christ but it also reminds me how desperately I need a savior.  This year I have fallen in love with the song all over again!  Paul Baloche has released a Christmas album in which he added his own original lyrics to the same melody.  One of them spoke to me as I sang it in church this morning, and it is so fitting to the intended theme of this blog. Take a moment to reflect upon these words to see how it applies to your own condition, go listen to the CD, and make it a point to draw near to Jesus this Christmas season.

Paul Baloche - Christmas Worship  O come, O come, Emmanuel,
  And ransom captive Israel,
  That mourns in lonely exile here
  Until the Son of God appear.

  O come, O Son of God most high
  Deliver us from sinfulness and pride
  Restore in us a childlike heart
  To consecrate and set us apart

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel has come to us!

To Capture the True Beauty You Must Look and Listen

This is fantastic for so many reasons!

I only wish I could have been there when it happened.  The look on peoples’ faces is remarkable, their delight at an unexpected symphony in the streets as memorable as the experience itself.  It is regrettable, therefore, that only a handful of people will, in fact, remember the event.

A guide from my Costa Rica trip wisely advised us travelers to have a no-technology zone.  When you see, hear, or experience something that takes your breath away, don’t be so quick to pull out the camera.  Take a few minutes at least to absorb the sights, the sounds, to process all of your senses.  This is the act of creating a long-term memory.  Then, and only then, should you document the experience using a cell phone or a camera.

That is our faulty habit, our natural instinct.  That is what these citizens did on the streets.  Many will only recall what they recorded on a 3″ LCD screen.  They didn’t see or hear the symphony for themselves.  Their memory is too small.  Only adults could make such a foolish mistake.  In contrast, a child sits in the front row with an attitude of admiration.  A child walks away with a rich, genuine memory.

Video

Scoop