Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joy to the World


...the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

The birth of the Son of God was heralded by the angel of the Lord, accompanied by the shekinah, the glory of God, and was followed by a multitude of the heavenly host singing praises. And for whose benefit was this magnificent display? Kings? Presidents? Politicians? Religious leaders?

No, it was all for a few lowly shepherds – humble, poor, obscure and unnamed rustics of whom nothing more is heard in Scripture thereafter. While today’s puffed-up prelates court the wealthy, famous and influential, so today’s wealthy, famous and influential seek out the private chapels and grand palaces of these prelates as the perfect stage for their displays of religiosity. But not these shepherds. No, the Lord deemed them worthy because they were lowly. They were not body-beautiful celebrities, gifted communicators, powerful decision makers or authoritative opinion formers; they were simply ordinary men, and the Lord chose them to be among the first to know that the Christ was born; that the Messiah had entered history; that the Son of God had come to redeem mankind - Immanuel.

Joy to the World, the Saviour reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

And as we spend the coming months yearning for the General Election, it is apposite to reflect that one day the Government will be upon His shoulder. The real deliverer and the real fulfillment of the needs of humanity is human, one of us, flesh of our flesh. He is born to rule, born to be a king, conceived of the house and lineage of David. His name is Wonderful – a mystery of divinity in humanity; Counsellor – the oracle of wisdom; the mighty God – the Word was not just with God, but was God; the Everlasting Father – not the same person as the Father, but of one substance with the Father; the Prince of Peace – bringing a peace that passes understanding.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Cranmer wishes all of his regular communicants, all of his intermittent guests, and all of his occasional readers, a joyful and peaceful Christmas.

66 Comments:

Anonymous Mike Stallard said...

It is so refreshing to hear that someone else believes in Christ the King.
This year, in a quiet sort of way, I am going to stand up for what I really think and what I really believe and to hell with the consequences.
The humanist and secularist mini-minority have had their time, methinks.
Merry Christmas, your Grace!

24 December 2009 at 09:32  
Blogger Anguus said...

A very Merry Christmas to you, Your Grace, and to all your communicants.

Bless us, one and all!

24 December 2009 at 09:34  
Blogger Paul said...

His Grace may be encouraged to hear that the government is already upon the saviour's shoulders; the Father has given Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth, and indeed, the name above all names. The verse you missed demonstrates this point:

"No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found."

24 December 2009 at 10:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all and a happy new year.
From ray

24 December 2009 at 10:33  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Merry Christmas Your Grace - to you and all your communicants who have become friends albeit pseudonymously.

And a healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year to all

24 December 2009 at 10:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how heartening!

24 December 2009 at 10:42  
Anonymous len said...

Merry Christmas Your Grace and all communicants "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace".

24 December 2009 at 10:50  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Merry Christmas, Your Grace.

I hope it is a time of blessing. You are very much appreciated.

24 December 2009 at 10:55  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Cranny, I agree with you about the shekinah -- well spotted -- but please note what the text actually goes on to say:

'And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."'

No suggestion there of the angels singing. The Greek verb is λέγω (lego), which means to lay forth or to relate, not to sing. Okay, they could have sung it, but there is nothing in the text that says or implies that they did. It is a baseless tradition.

I've got my doubts about the stable as well.

Ho, ho, ho!

24 December 2009 at 11:18  
Blogger I am Stan said...

Yo Ho Ho Merry Christmas your Gracieness..

24 December 2009 at 11:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

Would you mind sharing the source of the nativity scene painting (photograph?) you posted above?

A very merry Christmas to you.

24 December 2009 at 11:53  
Anonymous Bag Lady said...

Your Grace, isn't anabaptist rather dishy? Merry Christmas to one and all!

24 December 2009 at 12:07  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Merry Christmas everyone and a happy new year .

24 December 2009 at 12:16  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

Merry Christmas to one and all.

I have been pondering all of this Christian persecution we have been reading about in the various media outlets. Christians being sacked and escorted from buildings for praying, and teachers and nurses sacked for praying, and crucifixes being banned etc etc. And tomorrow the entire nation comes to a virtual halt as we all celebrate and pray.

Very weird. Schizophrenia is the nearest diagnosis I can come up with.

24 December 2009 at 12:44  
Blogger Kevin said...

Thank you your Grace.

May in 2010 we Christians not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.

Come Lord Jesus, come.

24 December 2009 at 13:12  
Blogger OldSouth said...

A most merry Christmas from America to Your Grace and all his friends here.

'Now unto Him, who is able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think...be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

24 December 2009 at 13:25  
Blogger greeneight said...

A very happy Christmas to you also your grace.

24 December 2009 at 13:38  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Back at you, Your Grace. I love being one of your communicants. :D

24 December 2009 at 13:39  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Your Grace

A very Happy Christmas to you and I hope, a peaceful New Year. Thank you for your blog, it is one of the highlights of my day to turn to it.

24 December 2009 at 14:06  
Blogger King Athelstan said...

Merry Christmas Your Grace!

24 December 2009 at 14:28  
Blogger wg said...

Ditto all above.

Cranmer, your thoughtful and challenging posts throw light into a dark and fearful world.

Merry Christmas to all. Let us hope there are better times to come.

24 December 2009 at 14:54  
Blogger James Wallis said...

A Merry Christmas to you Your Grace, and to all your Communicants!

24 December 2009 at 14:54  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mistress Bag Lady:

Thank you for your kind compliment, based no doubt on the image displayed next to my name.

The 'dishy' image is a portrait of Conrad Grebel (c.1498 – 1526), one of the earliest to go by the (pejorative) name of Anabaptist. As you can see he lived only to the age of 28.

His early death was partly the result of the persecutions he underwent for the sake of his faith, partly at the hands of Zwingli (to his shame) of whom Grebel had been an early follower.

For more about Grebel, try Wikipedia, and the following link:

http://www.reformationhappens.com/people/grebel/

or: http://tinyurl.com/yjje4d4

More than most, the Anabaptists have suffered from the fact that 'history is written by the victors'. They have consistently and undeservedly been given a bad press. As peaceful people they did not fight back, and were the objects of spite by both Protestants and Catholics.

Many of their writings were proscribed, destroyed and have accordingly not survived to the present day.

As radical biblicists, the Anabaptists belonged to a tradition which continues to the present, their most well-known descendants being Mennonites and Amish.

24 December 2009 at 17:15  
Anonymous IanCad said...

A most joyful Christmas to Your Grace and all of the flock.
Watch out for those icy roads. There are rough seas ahead. Be comforted that we have an Anchor who will hold us fast.

24 December 2009 at 17:18  
Anonymous graham wood said...

Your Grace. Thank you for your incisive and spiritual topical reviews - today being no exception.

One small observation as regards your comment:

"it is apposite to reflect that one day the Government will be upon His shoulder"

Without going too deeply into the theological potential - could we not say more accurately that "one day" can be replaced by "now"? In spite of much to suggest the contrary in the world today, Jesus is King and Lord and reigning right now.
The Kingdom arrived with the advent of the King - but its final consummation is yet to come!

24 December 2009 at 17:39  
Anonymous graham wood said...

Reply to Anabaptist. Agree with all your comments, and the hostile and very unchristian views and actions of the Reformers towards their Anabaptist brethren was a serious blot on their testimony to the truth of the Gospel.
Perhaps you have read the penetrating account of the way in which the Anabaptists were persecuted by many of the leading Reformers 'with the sword' in the masterly book:
'The Reformers and Their Stepchildren' by Leonard Verduin?

24 December 2009 at 17:47  
Blogger F.G.S.A said...

May the Little Infant of Bethlehem, the Word Eternal made flesh, born of a spotless Virgin, illumine our minds and guide our hearts in the due discharge of our duties and in the willing and devoted obedience of His Law of Charity and Freedom in the Holy Ghost.

24 December 2009 at 17:49  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Graham Wood, thank you. Yes, 'The Reformers And Their Stepchildren' was a seminal work. But the underlying philosophy that led to the attitudes of both Reformers and Catholics is analysed in an even better work by Verduin: 'Anatomy of a Hybrid'. Any serious student of church history should read that book.

Another excellent work which lays bare the thinking and attitudes that led Christians from persecuted to persectors is Stuart Murray's 'Post Christendom'.

24 December 2009 at 17:54  
Blogger Dr.D said...

As we celebrate the First Coming of our Lord, let us keep close in mind the Second Coming which is always before us. We approach both humbly, soberly, gratefully, with awe, realizing that Christ is both our Saviour and our Judge.

A Blessed Christmass to all!

24 December 2009 at 18:00  
Blogger Preacher said...

God bless you all, look forward to communicating with you all in 2010 have a great time & Stay safe.
I feel it's gonna be an exciting & challenging year.
Thank you Your Grace for conducting the band it's been a great symphony.
Remember "Attempt great things for God. Expect great things from God".

24 December 2009 at 18:05  
Anonymous Bag Lady said...

Mr Anabaptist, thankyou for the information, I find it most enlightening. I have always found your comments to be amongst the most intelligent and wise of his Grace's communicants. God bless.

24 December 2009 at 18:36  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Mr Anabaptist, I have also found you to be wise and informed about religious and political matters. Whilst I appreciate that we would not always see eye to eye, for example I am not a pacifist and believe you sometimes have to stand up and fight bullies, but you are nonetheless a most thoughtful man. And I have always appreciated the Amish way of life- simple, but rewarding. Anyway as said before, I wish everyone a happy Christmas and indeed a merry one. On the second glass of red; I already have the brandy on standby.

24 December 2009 at 18:44  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Lord Lavendon,

Only the second?

His Grace has lost count.

And the brandy follows Midnight Mass.

His Grace has been driven to it.

The red, not the Mass :o)

24 December 2009 at 19:09  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Thank you Your Grace. I wish you a Happy Christmas - and the same to all Communicants.

24 December 2009 at 20:02  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Let us hope many see somthing of christ and god , during the hussle and bussle .

A very joyfull and peacefull christmas unto all .

24 December 2009 at 20:07  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace, quite right, the brandy is for post Midnight Mass- and let us face it we need a winter warmer to be able to walk to church with the current cold conditions. God bless.

24 December 2009 at 20:10  
Anonymous The Devout said...

Boozers! Shouldn't we be approaching this in a prayerful way? This should not be a pub crawl.

24 December 2009 at 20:21  
Anonymous bluedog said...

A very Merry Christmas to you, Your Grace, and thank you for your remarkable contribution to the Christian way of life.

24 December 2009 at 20:37  
Anonymous Generalfeldmarschall said...

@Devout: With whatever blood/breath alcohol content one does, we all approach in the Spirit of the One.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
Merry Christmas, Your Grace.

24 December 2009 at 20:42  
Anonymous Generalfeldmarschall said...

For the avoidance of error (and Your Grace is better qualified):
One in Three, and Three in One.

24 December 2009 at 20:55  
Blogger JPT said...

Merry Christmas.

24 December 2009 at 22:10  
Anonymous William said...

Merry Christmas one and all.

24 December 2009 at 22:30  
Anonymous Adrian said...

Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2010 to His Grace and fellow communicants.

24 December 2009 at 23:00  
Blogger Ingenieur said...

At the First Coming Israel was a nation under judgment, one that had lost its former glory, lost its pride, and was under the control of foreign rulers. Just like Britain today?.

Their hope was the coming of Messiah, the same as our hope today, per Tit.2:13. But a more severe judgment followed in 70AD as a result of their failure to recognise Messiah when He came. "He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him"

The judgment on our nation will surely intensify. Will we recognise this as the righteous judgment of God, and will we be ready to receive Messiah when He comes again?

25 December 2009 at 09:31  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

The Devout said...
Boozers! Shouldn't we be approaching this in a prayerful way? This should not be a pub crawl.


Dear meeeeee.....

What's wrong with a glass of branmdy after Midnight Mass? Maybe a little less prissy?

25 December 2009 at 13:25  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Let us move forward into the New Year confident in Christ.

My God bless Your Grace, and all who celebrate the Incarnation with awe and wonder.

25 December 2009 at 16:27  
Anonymous Hereward said...

Mr The Devout, hast thou not of the thirst after righteousness?

A happy and holy Christmastide to one and all

25 December 2009 at 16:57  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Your Grace, Have a merry christmas and a prosperous new year.

25 December 2009 at 18:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace, and to all your Communicants

Your Grace. Thankyou for the blog and all the time and effort Your Grace puts into it. My grey and ailing braincells would be even worse without the erudition even if I do not always agree!

I also hope that Your Grace's Christmas brandy was to Your taste.
(I hope any Communicants who for other good reasons choose to refrain will not be offended by those including myself who enjoy an occasional drink without over-indulging as our Lord did. With the internet being so public and universal it is even more difficult than in the past to be yourself without offending someone somewhere).

Thankyou likewise to all the Communicants. You also bring joy, wisdom and fellowship through the robust and even occasionaly emotional discussions.

I hope the precious gift of free speech and conscience, with forbearance within limits and without payback despite some inevitable misunderstandings will increase. Writing especially cannot always convey tone and differences in age, personality, backgound, life experiences, cultures and other things can also sadly lead to misunderanding. And we all err sometimes in what we say or write. But free speech and conscience are still precious gifts and essential for soeciety to function well. The benefits far outweigh any down-sides.

I hope you all had and will have a joyous Christmas and New Year and that next year will be a good year for everyone. For any having a wonderful time, I hope you have many more.

For any going through bad times, I hope you will feel the Lord's presence and comfort and there will be joy in the future.
Don't give up hope. The Lord can
turn any situation around in an instant, whether or not you know His love. But I do hope any of you who don't will get to know How much He loves you and cares for your suffering even if you are despised by some others. He is a thought, whisper or cry away from us all - that is prayer - and no holy person or intermediary is needed or able to mediate. nyone can cry out to Him with reverance. And He is perfect, unlike His children.

Sorry this is late, I wasn't able to comment sooner. I also can't find any mincemeat where I am and am pining for mince-pies.

anonym

25 December 2009 at 22:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from anonym re 22:52
Despite checking several times, and with typos as well as computer errors, there were mistakes. Here is the correction (and I added a bit more). I sincerely apologise and appreciate your patience.

Your Grace, and to all your Communicants

Your Grace. Thankyou for the blog and all the time and effort Your Grace puts into it. My grey and ailing braincells would be even worse without the erudition even if I do not always agree!

I also hope that Your Grace's Christmas brandy was to Your taste.
(I also hope any Communicants who for other good reasons choose to refrain will not be offended by those including myself who enjoy an occasional drink without over-indulging as our Lord did. With the internet being so public and universal it is even more difficult than in the past to be yourself without offending someone somewhere).

Thankyou likewise to all the Communicants. You also bring joy, wisdom and fellowship through the robust and even occasionaly emotional discussions.

I hope the precious gift of free speech and conscience, with forbearance within limits and without payback despite some inevitable misunderstandings will increase. Writing especially cannot always convey tone and differences in age, personality, backgound, life experiences, cultures and other things can also sadly lead to misunderstanding. And we all err sometimes in what we say or write. But free speech and conscience are still precious gifts and essential for soeciety to function well. The benefits far outweigh any down-sides.

I hope you all had and will have a joyous Christmas and New Year and that next year will be a good year for everyone. For any having a wonderful time, I hope you have many more.

For any going through bad times, I hope you will feel the Lord's presence and comfort and there will be joy in the future.
Don't give up hope. The Lord can turn any situation around in an instant, whether or not you know His love. But I do hope any of you who don't will get to know How much He loves you and cares for your suffering even if you are despised by some others. He is a thought, whisper or cry away from us all - that is prayer - and no holy person or intermediary is needed or able to mediate. Anyone can cry out to Him with reverence. And He is perfect. Unlike His children (we Christians are all imperfect), He is never too busy to listen to our concerns, He knows the whole truth about any situation as well as our suffering, He is able to intervene in any situation (though He doesn't always - He is patient and respects free-will), He is able to forgive anyone who goes to Him for forgiveness for their own wrongs and also to forgive the wrongs of any who have hurt you, and can turn those hurts to good. I hope any of your problems turn around and that any suffering turns to joy and better times.

Sorry this is late, I wasn't able to comment sooner. I also can't find any mincemeat where I am and am pining for mince-pies.

Once again, I appreciate your patience with the mistakes in the previous and other posts.

anonym

25 December 2009 at 23:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you had a very enjoyable Christmas Day, your Grace, spent in the company of your loved ones.

26 December 2009 at 01:47  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Anonym: Thank you for that very special post. God be with you, also.

Your Grace: thank you for the Video!! [Wish I could find one of the Queen's Speech.]

Happy Boxing day and weekend to All.

26 December 2009 at 02:13  
Anonymous non mouse said...

I found the Queen on utube - and then moved on to Kings.

Well, it's not quite Christmas without them, is it?

26 December 2009 at 06:54  
Anonymous len said...

For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders.—Isaiah 9:6

From the very beginning satan, working through people has tried to destroy Gods plan for the salvation of Mankind.
First Herod killing all the male children in an attempt to destroy Jesus Christ.
When that failed satan mixed pagan religions with Christianity in a attempt to corrupt the truth.
Many were martyred throughout the ages proclaiming the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and still are being persecuted worldwide.
When satan( working through people)crucified the Lord Jesus Christ he thought he had finally killed all of Gods hopes and dreams of redeeming His Creation.
But Jesus rose from the grave triumphant!
Communism, Socialism, Humanism, all have tried to crush the Living Word of God.
But the Living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ has survived all attempts to crush, kill, and destroy Him and is alive and there for all who would seek Him, Praise God, Amen.

I would encourage all Christians to preach the Truth as revealed in Jesus Christ without fear or intimidation.

26 December 2009 at 08:26  
Blogger white rabbit said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 December 2009 at 10:17  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

Anonymous said...

'I hope any Communicants who for other good reasons choose to refrain will not be offended by those including myself who enjoy an occasional drink without over-indulging as our Lord did'.

Our Lord over-indulged in drink???

:-O

26 December 2009 at 11:41  
Blogger Red Squirrel said...

Merry Christmas your Grace!
I am hoping that in 2010 more people will realise that evil is not just 'the absence of good'

26 December 2009 at 20:45  
Blogger DDIM 'n HOFFI said...

Merry Christmas Your Grace & 'municants.

Looking forward to a better year in 2010 in spite of the political mayhem. I have a new year's resolution that will hopefully sprout a fresh new outlook.

Happy New Year!

26 December 2009 at 21:13  
Anonymous Angel said...

Thankyou Your Grace for this beautiful Christmas message.It reveals what Christianity is supposed to be about and your own
goodness. God bless you and yours,
Merry Christmas.

26 December 2009 at 23:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeremy Hyatt from anonym

Thankyou for pointing out the error! It was an innocent one, for which I apologise.

Of course our Lord did not over-indulge (which is what I meant to infer) though He did drink alcohol per scripture. John the Baptist did not drink.
What I also meant to infer was that there is freedom of personal conscience in regard to alcohol for believers, as long as we do not purposely over-indulge, force our personal choices on others or are insensitive i.e. enjoying a glass in front of a known struggling recovering alcoholic might well be unkind unless they, for example, gatecrashed a dinner-party to force their anti-alcohol views on others.
Thankyou again for pointing out my error.

27 December 2009 at 01:11  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

Anonymous - no problem. I did understand what you were saying. It just didn't come out quite right hence my little joke!

wv: tinipsy

28 December 2009 at 16:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JeremyHyatt
from anonymous @ 01:11
It was funny - I just didn't want any non-Christian readers to think our Lord over-indulged, so I corrected it.
Maybe His Grace might publish a book of typos as a partial solution to his dog tiredness!

p.s. your word verification was ironic as it included the word tipsy.

29 December 2009 at 01:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Squirrel said...

"I am hoping that in 2010 more people will realise that evil is not just 'the absence of good'"

Evil?

For example Nazi Scum?

30 December 2009 at 17:13  
Blogger Red Squirrel said...

Anonymous said...

Red Squirrel said...

"I am hoping that in 2010 more people will realise that evil is not just 'the absence of good'"

Evil?

For example Nazi Scum?
You are talking about yourself no doubt?

30 December 2009 at 17:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Thinly Disguised Nazi Scum said...

'For example Nazi Scum?
You are talking about yourself no doubt?'

Is that your best shot?

Pa-thetic.

31 December 2009 at 13:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A parting shot...

The clue is calling your blog blut und boden - sorry blood and soil - not quite getting the hang of the respectable front thing, are we?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blut_und_Boden.svg

now crawl off and die.

31 December 2009 at 14:06  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older