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Kelir Books

Friends, I think this is awesome: a Lutheran founding a group so that Tamil children can access their language globally: Kelir Books.

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Ray Keating Sales

Hello! I know I often blog Ray Keating sales in summer, but he often has sales via his newsletter, too. Plus right now he’s offering a limited time extra!

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New CPH President

Want to know the name of the new CPH president? I sure did! 

Wednesday, the release went out: Jonathan D. Schultz was unanimously elected the 9th President & CEO of Concordia Publishing House.

Schultz has been serving as Interim President and CEO since last May. He’s also been a pretty long term Vice President and Corporate Counsel. He’s worked with the Board of Directors, coordinated legal activities of the corporation, directed HR and contracts/rights/permission departments. He and his wife have also done mission work.

Yay! Exciting times!

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The Apostle’s Creed Latin Coloring Book

Titus Classics has a new release: The Apostle’s Creed Latin Coloring Book!!! What can I say but AWESOME!!!!!!!

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The Cultivation of Christmas Trees by Eliot

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees
T.S. Eliot

There are several attitudes towards Christmas,
Some of which we may disregard:
The social, the torpid, the patently commercial,
The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight),
And the childish – which is not that of the child
For whom the candle is a star, and the gilded angel
Spreading its wings at the summit of the tree
Is not only a decoration, but an angel.

The child wonders at the Christmas Tree:
Let him continue in the spirit of wonder
At the Feast as an event not accepted as a pretext;
So that the glittering rapture, the amazement
Of the first-remembered Christmas Tree,
So that the surprises, delight in new possessions
(Each one with its peculiar and exciting smell),
The expectation of the goose or turkey
And the expected awe on its appearance,

So that the reverence and the gaiety
May not be forgotten in later experience,
In the bored habituation, the fatigue, the tedium,
The awareness of death, the consciousness of failure,
Or in the piety of the convert
Which may be tainted with a self-conceit
Displeasing to God and disrespectful to children
(And here I remember also with gratitude
St.Lucy, her carol, and her crown of fire):

So that before the end, the eightieth Christmas
(By “eightieth” meaning whichever is last)
The accumulated memories of annual emotion
May be concentrated into a great joy
Which shall be also a great fear, as on the occasion
When fear came upon every soul:
Because the beginning shall remind us of the end
And the first coming of the second coming.

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Nativity by John Donne

Nativity
John Donne, 1572 – 1631

Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb,
Now leaves His well-belov’d imprisonment,
There He hath made Himself to His intent
Weak enough, now into the world to come;
But O, for thee, for Him, hath the inn no room?
Yet lay Him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Stars and wise men will travel to prevent
The effect of Herod’s jealous general doom.
Seest thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eyes, how He
Which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie?
Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go,
With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.

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The House of Christmas by Chesterton

The House of Christmas
by G.K. Chesterton
 
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.
 
For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
 
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.
 
A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost—how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.
 
This world is wild as an old wife’s tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
 
To an open house in the evening
Home shall all men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

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A Christmas Hymn from Germanus

A Christmas Hymn from Germanus

Here’s a Facebook find: A Christmas Hymn from Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople in the mid-8th century, shared by Andy Richard.

 

ΓΕΡΜΑΝΟΥ
Ἰδιόμελον εἰς Χριστοῦ γέννησιν (Δεκ. 25)
A chant of Germanus for the birth of Christ (December 25th)
Anthologia Graeca Carminum Christianorum, pg. 98-99

Greek Text:
Δεῦτε ἀγαλλιασώμεθα τῷ κυρίῳ,
τὸ παρὸν μυστήριον ἐκδιηγούμενοι·
τὸ μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ διαλέλυται,
ἡ φλογίνη ῥομφαία τὰ νῶτα δίδωσι,
καὶ τὰ Χερουβὶμ παραχωρεῖ
τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς· κἀγὼ |
τοῦ παραδείσου τῆς τρυφῆς μεταλαμβάνω, 
οὗ προεξεβλήθην διὰ τῆς παρακοῆς·
ἡ γὰρ ἀπαράλλακτος εἰκὼν τοῦ πατρὸς,
ὁ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ἀϊδιότητος αὐτοῦ,
μορφὴν δούλου λαμβάνει,
ἐξ ἀπειρογάμου μητρὸς προελθὼν,
οὐ τροπὴν ὑπομείνας·
ὃ γὰρ ἦν διέμεινε, |
θεὸς ὢν ἀληθινός·
καὶ ὃ οὐκ ἦν προσέλαβεν,
ἄνθρωπος γενόμενος διὰ φιλανθρωπίαν·
αὐτῷ βοήσωμεν·
ὁ τεχθεὶς ἐκ παρθένου θεὸς
ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.

Translation:
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
relating the present mystery:
the dividing wall of hostility is torn apart,
the flaming sword turns its back,
and the Cherubim move aside from
the Tree of Life; and I,
I partake of the luxurious paradise
whence I was cast out through disobedience.
For the exact image of the Father,
his eternal character,
takes the form of a slave,
coming forth from unwedded mother,
suffering no change:
for what he was he remained,
being true God,
and what he was not he assumed,
becoming a man on account of philanthropy.
To him let us cry out:
O Thou God born of a virgin,
Have mercy on us!

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My heart for very joy

Lutheran Service Book, #358, stanzas 14-15

14 My heart for very joy must leap;
My lips no more can silence keep.
I, too must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradlesong:

15 Glory to God in highest heav’n,
Who unto us His Son has giv’n!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth.

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Happy Boxing Day!

Merry second day of Christmas! Happy Boxing Day! I pray every blessing in Christ be yours!

As part of the 12 Days of Christmas, I thought I might try to listen to something musical every day. Want to help me make my list? I’m thinking longer things rather than individual songs.

This is what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Maybe watch the Nutcracker on Youtube
  2. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
  3. Praetorius Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning
  4. Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite
  5. Cambridge Lessons & Carols 

I’m not thinking the music has to be religious in nature, but I am leaning toward explicitly Christmasy. Any other ideas for me? I’ve heard St. Olaf Christmas Festivals are good, though I haven’t listened to any. Yet! 🙂 Hmm, and maybe I should look up if Bethany has a concert!

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