The Healer and the Pirate

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

See Christmas through the eyes of Simeon

So at church this morning, Pastor Steve mentioned that this Christmas we should see through the eyes of Simeon:

Luke 2:25-35

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

New International Version, ©2010 (NIV)

There are certainly a lot of people who get irate about any mention of Christmas (never mind that the Wal-Mart Christmas allegations I heard about earlier today were apparently untrue).

But I think Christmas is the one time of year when the vast majority of people are relatively open to hearing the Gospel message. How many people who don't have any interest in Christ sing songs like "Joy to the World?" And for goodness' sake, have you even seen "A Charlie Brown Christmas"?

A lot of people like to package up the entire Gospel message as a sweet little baby in a manger, but Simeon appears to have seen the whole picture.

Speaking of Christmas! As of this moment, has a Veggie Tales Christmas album for free! It does have some pretty strict DRM restrictions, I found out (when trying to play it in my car's ghetto MP3 player--you know, the kind that you get when your CD changer dies, incidentally, holding 5 CDs hostage? The kind that plugs into your lighter and takes an SD card and transmits via radio and gets staticky when you're under high-voltage wires?). It would only play the first 5 or 10 seconds, then skip to the next song. I am all for copyright holders controlling their content (within reason), but I wish I could play that "free" album in my car! Anyway, it's cute for an adult with a healthy inner-child, probably excellent for kids, and certainly worth the price at "free." It even has a few songs that are serious and better than any of the free Christmas songs I downloaded last year.

Last year I purchased Relient K's "Let it Snow, Baby, Let it Reindeer" for something around the current price ($5.99): I think it's a great value and has a lot of really good and/or fun songs. Some of my favorites are the ones that they wrote themselves, or wrote interludes for, like "I Celebrate the Day" (think "Mary Did You Know" sung to Baby Jesus instead), "Silver Bells," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Definitely worth it!

Both albums have a nice mix of real Christmas songs and secular ones. Enjoy! I'll try not to ramble so much next time.

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