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Christmas Fails

This page at Facts and Trends features ten moments when Christmas related church activities did not go to plan.
Most feature children and animals.
These are meant to be salutary warnings, not ideas, folks.
Here’s one with a Christmas camel, who does not seem to come off worse for wear.


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It’s Beginning To Look A Bit Like Christmas

With life getting more crowded we have to get started on some Christmas observances as little early.
And it isn’t Christmas without some Hans.

And some antipasto and snacks.


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Star Of The East – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 29

Star Of The East is yet another Christmas song that I hadn’t heard before.
The lyrics are translated to English by George Cooper, presumably from the German of Alfred Hans Zoller. The music is by Amanda Kennedy.
This rendition is by Judy Garland of all people.
Apparently it was released in the 1940s.
It contains the first verse, refrain, and sixth then fifth verses.
Her voice is so pure back then.

1.
Star of the East, Oh Bethlehem’s star
Guiding us on to Heaven afar!
Sorrow and grief and lulled by thy light,
Thou hope of each mortal, in death’s lonely night!
Refrain.
Fearless and tranquil, we look up to Thee!
Knowing thou beamst thro’ eternity!
Help us to follow where Thou still dost guide,
Pilgrims of earth so wide.
2.
Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,
Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem’s star.
3.
Star of the East, undimmed by each cloud,
What tho’ the storms of grief gather loud?
Faithful and pure thy rays beam to save,
4.
Still bright o’er the cradle, and bright o’er the grave!
Smiles of a Saviour are mirror’d in Thee!
Glimpses of Heav’n in thy light we see!
Guide us still onward to that blessed shore,
After earth’s toil is o’er!
5.
Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,
Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem’s star.
6.
Oh star that leads to God above!
Whose rays are peace and joy and love!
Watch o’er us still till life hath ceased,
Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star!


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Who Is This, So Weak And Helpless – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 28

Who Is This, So Weak And Helpless is another example of a lyric set that moves from the manger to the cross and beyond, this time by William Walsham How.
Vocals by Sandra McCracken from an Indelible Grace release.

1.
Who is this so weak and helpless,
child of lowly Hebrew maid,
rudely in a stable sheltered,
coldly in a manger laid?
‘Tis the Lord of all creation,
who this wondrous path hath trod;
he is God from everlasting,
and to everlasting God.
2.
Who is this – a Man of Sorrows,
walking sadly life’s hard way;
homeless, weary, sighing, weeping
over sin and Satan’s sway?
‘Tis our God, our glorious Saviour,
who beyond our mortal sight
now for us a place prepareth
free from grief and full of light.
3
Who is this – behold him raining
drops of blood upon the ground?
Who is this – despised, rejected,
mocked, insulted, beaten, bound?
‘Tis our God, who gifts and graces
on his Church now poureth down;
all his faithful ones empowering
to partake in cross and crown.
4
Who is this that hangeth dying,
while the thieves on either side?
Nails his hands and feet are tearing,
and the spear hath pierced his side.
‘Tis the God who ever liveth
‘mid the shining ones on high,
in the glorious golden city,
reigning everlastingly.


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O Sing A Song Of Bethlehem – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 27

I haven’t included O Sing A Song Of Bethlehem before, but there’s more than a few renditions of it around, so it will probably turn up again in the future.
Another set of lyrics that take us from the manger to the cross by Louis F. Benson, most often sung to the tune KINGSFOLD.

The lyrics:
1
O sing a song of Bethlehem,
of shepherds watching there,
and of the news that came to them
from angels in the air.
The light that shone on Bethlehem
fills all the world today.
Of Jesus’ birth and peace on earth
the angels sing alway.
2
O sing a song of Nazareth,
of sunny days of joy;
O sing of fragrant flowers’ breath,
and of the sinless boy.
For now the flowers of Nazareth
in every heart may grow.
Now spreads the fame of his dear name
on all the winds that blow.
3
O sing a song of Galilee,
of lake and woods and hill,
of him who walked upon the sea
and bade its waves be still.
For though, like waves on Galilee,
dark seas of trouble roll,
when faith has heard the Master’s word,
falls peace upon the soul.
4
O sing a song of Calvary,
its glory and dismay,
of him who hung upon the tree,
and took our sins away.
For he who died on Calvary
is risen from the grave,
and Christ, our Lord, by heaven adored,
is mighty now to save.


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This Is The Christ – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 26

Continuing the themes of incarnation and anticipation, here’s Sandra McCracken singing This Is The Christ.