Jesus, the son of God, was going to leave it all, leave the right hand of God, to come and be with us, so that we can experience all that is talked about in the seven verses of this hymn….
So when we sing these verses, and many of our other beloved Christmas carols, what happens is that we are often seeing the world through the lens of those living in the first century. You know…little baby Jesus who was born in a manger, on a silent night, with angels singing, and the wise men bearing gifts.
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But it far more often means "darkness. Llave de David : This phrase, meaning "key of David," is a reference to an Old Testament verse, Isaiah , which Christians have understood to refer symbolically to the authority of the coming Messiah. Lleguemos: This verb for is an example of the subjunctive mood. Llegar is a common verb meaning "to arrive.
Celeste : Here, this word has the meaning of "celestial. Haz : This is an irregular form of hacer. Share Flipboard Email. Chorus: Be joyful, O Israel!
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I knew nothing of its history, of course, when I sang this hymn with all the good people who filled the pews of the Cary Methodist Church on Christmas Eve. I only knew—I took it in somehow with the very first chords of the organ prelude—that we were welcoming a mystery.
Number in the Methodist hymnal, key of E minor: E is where the hymn comes home, and minor keys are good for mystery. In the Book of Isaiah, the prophesied messiah is called Emmanuel. In the Book of Matthew, an angel tells Joseph that his betrothed is the virgin of the prophecy, her child the child of God. Above the altar in our red brick church was a single stained-glass window, very small, circular, depicting the Holy Ghost in the form of a bird.
Our one gesture toward ostentation.
No one had ever preached to me about the dangers of idolatry. But the stained-glass windows in the Roman Catholic Church on the other side of town, like the bleak dormitories for the nuns, struck me as slightly sinister. The priest lived in a fine new house. It was only by accident, really, that we were Methodists at all.
Norwegian immigrants belonged to the church of Luther.
But when my grandparents moved from Chicago in the s, our small town had only one Protestant church on offer, and it was the church of John Wesley. My grandfather was a fine craftsman, meticulous in his pinstriped overalls. It was he who, on a windless day, climbed the steeple to apply gold leafing to the cross. Modest ostentation: a plain gold cross on a plain white steeple, upright in praise, and the overalls freshly ironed.
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