Category Archive:Celebrations

A Dutch Christmas on St. Nicholas Day from Mary Mapes Dodge: Jolly Girl by Miriam E. Mason, one of the many volumes in the Childhood of Famous Americans series:

“First they all sang several songs. Then somebody told the story of the first trip good Saint Nicholas made across the ocean from Holland.
Finally, there was the sound of bells outside, then a tramping of feet. In a minute in came good Saint Nicholas, dressed in a bright red suit. He was carrying and enormous bag over his shoulder. A small boy followed him.
‘See, there is the little kabouter manikin behind him to help him with the presents,’ Sophie whispered excitedly. She exclaimed to her sisters: ‘The kabouter is the dwarf who goes about helping needy people.’
Saint Nicholas came to the front of the room. In a loud voice he asked if the children had all been good.
‘Yes, Saint Nicholas,’ they all answered.
‘Have you obeyed your parents and done your share of the work without complaining?’
‘Yes, Saint Nicholas.’
‘Have you been polite in church and not smiled or gone to sleep while the preacher was talking? Have you listened to him?’
‘Yes, Saint Nicholas.’
‘Have you been mannerly at table and not wasted your food?’
‘Yes, Saint Nicholas.’
‘Have you been rude to your elders, cruel to your pets, or lazy about rising in the morning?’
‘No, Saint Nicholas.’
‘Very well, then, I shall see what is in my treasure each of you. Come forward as I call your name.'”

Mary Mapes Dodge was the well-known author of many stories for children, including the famous classic Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates, which was featured in a previous “Literary Christmas Through the Ages” post, Christmas in Amsterdam, Holland, 1853. The biography, Mary Mapes Dodge: Jolly Girl tells the story of Mary’s childhood as she grew up among many friends of Dutch heritage in old New York City.

From Kit Carson, Trailblazer and Scout by Shannon Garst:

“The homemade crib in the snug log cabin of the Linsey Carsons was seldom empty. When on Christmas Eve of 1809 the thin wail of a newborn babe rose from the battered cradle, the little cabin was already fairly bulging with Carson offspring, and the birth of another baby occasioned little excitement.

Linsey Carson, who had to stoop when he went through a door, bent over the crib and made clucking noises at his youngest. ‘He ‘pears to be a mite runty,’ he commented. ‘Reckon we’d best give him a good-sized name to grow up to.’

So the child was christened ‘Christopher,’ an already illustrious name to which the child was to add further glory. However, his physical stature never grew to fit the name, so the name was shortened to ‘Kit’ to fit the boy. Always his father referred to him as ‘the runt of the litter,’ which designation never failed to make the boy cringe inside as though a burning iron had been thrust through his heart. All of his nine brothers were strapping fellows well over six feet when grown to manhood, but Kit never attained even medium height. Yet of the fourteen Carson offspring he was the only one to make the family name famous. Runty, sandy-haired and with pale eyelashes fringing blue eyes, he remained to the end of his days undistinguished in appearance, yet the germ of greatness slumbered in that undersized but sturdy body.”

The runt of the litter who grows up to be the greatest. It’s an old story that never grows stale in the telling. From David, the youngest of his family, who nevertheless kills the giant Goliath and later becomes King of Israel, to Peter the Great, youngest son of Alexey I and his second wife, Natalya Naryshkina, to fictional youngest sons who rise to greatness, there is a something about seeing the “underdog” become the hero that appeals to our sense of rightness and hope.

Perhaps it’s a little like the true story of the baby, born in poverty and obscurity, who became the mighty and resurrected King.

From Tales of the Crusades by Olivia Coolidge:

“Two days before Christ’s Mass, a minstrel wandered into a small town on the outskirts of Vienna. He did not sing in the marketplace, being French-speaking and in any case superior to the ragged crew thumping tabors who were already performing here and there and begging for pennies. This man was warmly dressed, though stained with travel; and he carried a viol on his back, which proclaimed he had some skill. Though he did not my any means look like a court musician, he probably at least could sing for his supper in small baronial castles whose rough owners cared less for music than for novelty.

It was market day when he appeared, strolling casually up to a crowd which was gathering to listen to a man preaching a new crusade. The speaker was a hoarse-voiced fellow, one-eyed and villainous looking, who had taken the Cross, he said, on account of his sins.”

The minstrel in this story turns out to be a spy, looking for King Richard of England who is late coming home from the Crusades. He goes to the court of Duke Leopold, to ask questions and perform for the nobility.

“Duke Leopold was holding Christmas court at Vienna with mumming plays and games of blindman’s bluff or forfeits. Presents were being given and received with gay flirtation. Dishes were brought into the hall preceded by trumpeters and outlined in flickering brandy. Jugglers, minstrels, and fools entertained the company, the court performers striving to add to their repertoire, lest it become stale. These last were not best pleased at the arrival of the minstrel, who had bought himself gay clothing with gold ducats he had concealed in the lining of his viol case. To the lords and ladies a French-speaking man was especially welcome, for the lays of chivalry had their birth in France.”

Read Ms. Coolidge’s Tales of the Crusades to find out what happens next at this medieval Christmas celebration.

Olivia Coolidge was born and grew up in England, but she came to the United States as a young woman and stayed to teach school and eventually to marry an American. As the daughter of an Oxford professor and an Oxford graduate herself, Ms. Coolidge saw the value of a classical education. Her books, about Greek and Roman heroes and other historical figures, are a classical education in and of themselves.
(Information about Olivia Coolidge taken mostly from Jan Bloom’s bibliographic resource, Who Should We Then Read?.)

'Thanksgiving Postcards 1' photo (c) 2010, Minnesota Historical Society - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/” I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.” ~Abraham Lincoln, October 1863.

We are not in an actual civil war, but we Americans certainly are in need on this Thanksgiving Day, 2016, of the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of this nation and to restore it to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union. Amen and may it be so.

Some hae meat and canna eat, –
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
~Robert Burns

“For, after all, put it as we may to ourselves, we are all of us from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread. The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet…. Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer to our Host, and to find out something of Him who has fed us so long?” ~Rebecca Harding Davis

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” ~Henry David Thoreau

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:18

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

April was a difficult month, but I’m not going to tell you about all the things that made me do the opposite of smile in April. (Hint: for one, initials are DT, and police were involved in another frown-maker.) Instead, I’m going to play Pollyanna and tell you about the stuff that made me smile, sometimes through the tears, this month in the grand old year of 2016.

1. Speaking of Pollyanna and the the “glad game”, this post at Living Books Library, called “Are You Glad?” made my day a little gladder (gladder or more glad?) when I read it.

2. Randy Acorn’s book, Happiness, was a compendium on the subject of happiness from a Biblical perspective. He quotes practically everyone from the Bible itself to St. Augustine to Matthew Henry to John Piper, and most every Christian writer or thinker in between, all on the subject of happiness. I didn’t finish the book because I had to return it to the library, but I think I need a copy of my own anyway so that I can dip into it whenever the frowns and grumps seem to be gaining the upper hand.

“Being happy in God and living righteously tastes far better for far longer than sin does. When my hunger and thirst for joy is satisfied by Christ, sin becomes unattractive. I say no to immorality not because I hate pleasure but because I want the enduring pleasure found in Christ.”
~Randy Alcorn, Happiness

3. Podcasts. I am truly glad to have discovered podcasts a few months ago. They have made my driving times and other times much more enjoyable. I found a couple of new-to-me podcasts to add to my growing list of favorites. Here’s the list of favorites, which I notice that I have never before posted here on Semicolon:

Read Aloud Revival. The lovely Sarah MacKenzie talks all things reading aloud with your children. She’s interviewed such guests as Sarah Clarkson, Andrew Pudewa, N.D. Wilson, Anne Bogel, Melissa Wiley, and many more. Excellent podcast.
Homeschooling IRL with Andy and Kendra Fletcher. “Discussing the topics that you might not find covered at your local homeschooling convention, veteran homeschooling parents and bloggers, Andy and Kendra Fletcher, use humor, honesty, and grace to pull the veil back on Christian homeschooling.” Good, encouraging, real stuff here.
The World and Everything In It, a daily, Monday through Friday, news update from the people at WORLD magazine.
What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. I wrote about this new-to-me podcast here.
Two from NPR: This American Life and The Moth Podcast.
Two from the CIRCE Institute Podcast Network: The Mason Jar, about Charlotte Mason’s ideas on education, and Close Reads, a book discussion podcast.
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
Tea or Books? with Simon of Stuck in a Book and Rachel who blogs at Book Snob. This one is velly, velly British, and I’ve just listened to one episode so far. But I like it–if I can understand what the two podcasters are saying, what with my hearing loss and their accents.

What podcasts do you recommend to make me smile?

4. My youngest daughter will be acting in a musical called Malcolm at the end of May, based on the book by George MacDonald of the same name. The book was edited by Michael Phillips and republished as The Fisherman’s Lady, and it has a sequel, The Marquis’ Secret. These updated versions of Macdonald’s romantic novels are, I’ve been told, quite well done and useful for modern day readers who might have trouble with MacDonald’s use of Scottish dialect and Victorian language. I’m already smiling to think of watching Z-baby and her friends in the musical version of Malcolm, and I hope to read The Fisherman’s Lady and perhaps another one or two of MacDonald’s books in May.

5. I would take a picture if I could of the lovely books that I was able to purchase at Half-Price Books this week, a few additions to my library. But a list will have to suffice:
God King by Joanne Williamson.
Abigail Adams (Childhood of Famous Americans) by Jean Wagoner.
Rosa Parks (Childhood of Famous Americans) by Kathleen Kudlinski.
Elizabeth Blackwell (Childhood of Famous Americans) by Joanne Landers Henry.
*How Do I Love Thee? A Novel of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Nancy Moser.
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema.
*The Sword and the Flame by Stephen Lawhead.
*The Dolphins of Laurentum by Caroline Lawrence.
*Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede.

I’m smiling about the ones I’ve already read and can now give to my family and library patrons and about the ones that I’m looking forward to reading (*).

6. WORLD magazine’s latest issue features children’s books, including an article about the WORLD Children’s Book of the Year, Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley, an interview with John Erikson, author of the Hank the Cowdog series, a discussion of Victorian author GA Henty and reading historical books in cultural context, and lots and lots of book suggestions. I was on the committee that picked the middle grade fiction Book of the Year and the runners-up, so I definitely had a smile on my face as I read the many articles about children’s books in this weeks issue of WORLD magazine.

7. I had three library open house dates for my private subscription lending library that I run out of my house here in southeast Houston. Several families came to visit, and it looks as if several will join the library. I really, really enjoy having a library for children and adults (mostly homeschoolers) and sharing my books with them.

Lyrics: Charles Wesley, 1739. Written in celebration of the first service of London’s first Wesleyan Chapel. This chapel was known as the Foundry Meeting House because Charles Wesley purchased an old foundry building to house his growing number of converts.

Music: EASTER HYMN, unknown author, first published in 1708.

Theme: For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures . . . I Corinthians 15:3-4.
Black Resurrection

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say! Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high: Alleluia!
Sing ye heavens, thou earth reply. Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done; Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won: Alleluia!
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er; Alleluia!
Lo, He sets in blood no more. Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal; Alleluia!
Christ has burst the gates of hell. Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise; Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise. Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King! Alleluia!
Where, O Death is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save; Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!

What though once we perished all, Alleluia!
Partners in our parents’ fall? Alleluia!
Second life we all receive, Alleluia!
In our heavenly Adam live. Alleluia!

Risen with Him, we upward move, Alleluia!
Still we seek the things above, Alleluia!
Still pursue and kiss the Son, Alleluia!
Seated on his Father’s throne. Alleluia!
The Resurrected Jesus Reveals Himself to Mary Near the Tomb

Scarce on earth a thought bestow, Alleluia!
Dead to all we leave below; Alleluia!
Heaven our aim and loved abode, Alleluia!
Hid our life with Christ in God; Alleluia!

Hid till Christ, our Life, appear, Alleluia!
Glorious in His members here; Alleluia!
Joined to Him, we then shall shine, Alleluia!
All immortal, all divine. Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven! Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given! Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now: Alleluia!
Hail, the Resurrection Thou! Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

The “Alleluia” at the end of each line of the poem was not originally part of the Wesley’s hymn. An unknown editor added that responsive repetition to better fit words to music. Wesley’s original poem also had eleven verses, and I finally found all eleven in this post at Dr. Mark Roberts’ blog.

Over the past few days, I’ve been republishing some edited posts from Resurrection celebrations of the past twelve years that I’ve been writing this blog. And I’ve written a few new posts to intersperse between and among.

Last year on Resurrection Sunday I wrote about the most important and significant thing in my life—and about what I wish for each of you who read this blog. Today I want to say it again, in different words perhaps, but still the same old, old story because it’s that important: it bears repeating that Jesus is Lord.

I’m just a fifty-eight year old mom. I’ve read a few books, birthed eight children, made a lot of mistakes, told some lies, and discovered one overwhelmingly important Truth: Jesus is Lord.

I don’t know where you are in your journey of faith. Maybe, like me, you know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to God the Father except through Jesus. Maybe you’ve died to yourself, been
“born again” and dedicated your life to the proposition that Jesus is Lord.

Or maybe you’re just not there (dare I say, yet). Maybe you have doubts about Jesus, doubts about God, fears that admitting the truth of Jesus’s lordship over your life will mean a descent into religiosity or intellectual suicide or fluffy self-delusion. Maybe the very idea of becoming a Christian, following the commands of Jesus as they are set forth in the Bible and asking Him for forgiveness for your mistakes and your brokenness and your sin, is anathema to you. Still, Jesus is Lord.

I don’t know much. Sometimes I think I do, but then events usually conspire to show me that all my great knowledge and intelligence are not enough to even run my own life properly, much less that of anyone else. And I’ll leave those who think they can do it to run for president and presume to become the “leader of the free world.” Maybe God is leading someone to do just that. Goodness knows, somebody’s got to govern the country. But whoever becomes president had better know one thing: Jesus is Lord.

Not only do I not know much, but I can’t even say what I do know very well. I certainly don’t speak with the tongues of men and of angels. If God were waiting on my eloquence to convince a dying world of hurting people to turn to Him, we would all be waiting for a long, long time. All I can really say is: Jesus is Lord.

Today is Resurrection Sunday. Jesus, who died and then rose again, is here in this puny little world, and He is Lord, Lord of the earth, Lord of the stars, Lord of the galaxies and black holes and comets and planets and quarks and quasars and anything else that anyone can imagine, as well as many things we haven’t even begun to conceive. That same Jesus who was crucified between two thieves is also the resurrected Lord, Owner and Director of all things in heaven and on earth. Jesus is Lord.

And that great Lord, mighty and powerful and full of all the immenseness of the universe, is a Lord of Love. He loves me. He loves you. He knows my name and my thoughts and my psychological complexities and everything about me, just as he knows you in all your depths and heights and quirks and qualities. Of all the bigness of everything and all the smallest infinitesimal molecules, Jesus is Lord.

Jesus is Lord, and He loves. The only rational response to that vast and intimate loving knowledge is to fall before Him and worship and give thanks and live in joyful gratitude and praise. Of course, I’m not always rational. Neither are you, probably. I muddle along, forget to pray, forget to seek Him, act as if Jesus’s death and resurrection never even happened, try to figure it all out all by myself instead of asking Him to show me the way. Nevertheless, Jesus is Lord.

This one thing I know: Jesus is Lord. He is risen from the dead, and He is Lord. He loves you and me, and He is Lord. The question remains: what am I going to do about that truth? What are you going to do about it?

My prayer for each of us on the Resurrection Sunday is that we will recognize and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Lord.

Edited and reposted from Resurrection Sunday, 2013.

You know when you’re reading a story, especially a thriller or a mystery and there’s a lovely little (or big) twist at the end that is completely unexpected? It’s not where you thought the story was headed, not how you thought it would end, but it works. The ending or surprising climactic scene is something you never would have predicted, and at the same time it’s just what the story needed to tie or untie all the plot knots and make everything come out just right. The story, factually, and in mood and quality, succeeds.

Well, Jesus’s resurrection is sort of like that unforeseen but perfect ending. If I were the Author (thank God I’m not) of the story of creation, sin and redemption, I wouldn’t have been able to dream up the resurrection, not in a million years. My story, if I had been creative enough to write one at all, would have ended with the crucifixion. Jesus, a good man, lived and taught and died—an innocent sacrifice to the cruelty and blindness of both the Romans and the Jews. It’s a sad story, a tragedy, but perhaps one with a moral to it: we humans are hopelessly lost, and we have a tendency to kill those who tell the truth and demonstrate radical love and self-sacrifice.

'Opening of roadside tomb_0654' photo (c) 2007, James Emery - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Maybe we’ll do better next time, having learned the lesson of Jesus. Probably not.

Jesus is dead at the end of my story. He’s really, truly dead, by the way; this isn’t the sort of story where the hero was only mostly dead but turns out to be revivable. A Roman spear was thrust into his side. His body was sealed in a tomb with a big rock across the entrance, a seal of some kind over the rock, and Roman guards posted outside so that no one could steal the body and pretend to resuscitate it. Jesus’s followers were scattered, demoralized, and discouraged.

And then—the surprise hits me in the face, if I haven’t become inured to the shock from having heard the story so many times. On Sunday some women go to visit Jesus’s tomb, and they meet an angel who tells them that Jesus is not dead. He’s alive!

Whoa, whoa, whoa—wait! You mean the story is that he didn’t really die; he just got badly injured, but he was able to recover and make his way out of the tomb. Or he was a magician with a magic protection coat that made spears and nails seem to pierce him but not really hurt him at all. You mean he became a ghost and appeared to people in a spirit form. Or he was just asleep and looked dead.

Nope, Jesus was dead, and now he’s alive again. Resurrected, as Christians term it.

Could you have predicted that the Author of the human story would have inserted himself into history, allowed himself to suffer and to be killed at the hands of his own creatures, and then . . . come alive again? JRR Tolkien invented the term “eucastrophe”, meaning “a dire situation which is nevertheless salvaged through some unforeseeable turn of events.” (Wikipedia, Eucatastrophe) A resurrection is a really unforeseeable turn of events.

But, and here’s the kicker, the resurrection makes the story work. Without the resurrection, we have a weak, powerless, probably dead god who maybe had good intentions? Without the resurrection of Jesus there is no resurrection, no life after death, for any of us either. Paul said in I Corinthians 5:17, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” If Jesus is not alive, we have no hope of knowing God or having friendship with Him or making any kind of connection. He’s either dead or so distant that we can never get there from here. Without the resurrection, the whole story of human history, including the story of that “good man” Jesus, is essentially meaningless.

When I say story, I mean a True Story. If we are real, actual entities living in a real, fallen world full of real evil, we need a Real, Resurrected Savior who physically not only died but rose from the dead to reign over all things eternally.

And lo and behold, eucatastrophe!(I like that word), in a three-day turn of events I could never have scripted or invented or predicted, Jesus not only died and was buried, but he also rose from the dead and lives eternally. “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

We serve a living, creative God of eucatastrophic artistry and imagination. And we have a Risen Savior because of the story-making ability and sacrifice of that same God.

Hallelujah! Eucatastrophe! (Thanks, Tolkien, and with some intellectual indebtedness to my pastor’s sermon this morning.)

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. I John 3:2

If Easter Eggs Would Hatch by Douglas Malloch

'Pisanki / Easter Eggs' photo (c) 2012, Praktyczny Przewodnik - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I wish that Easter eggs would do
Like eggs of other seasons;
I wish that they hatched something too.
For—well, for lots of reasons.
The eggs you get the usual way
Are always brown and white ones
The eggs you find on Easter Day
Are always gay and bright ones.

I’d love to see a purple hen,
A rooster like a bluebird,
For that would make an old bird then
Look really like a new bird.
If Easter eggs hatched like the rest,
The robin and the swallow
Would peek inside a chicken’s nest
To see what styles to follow.

The rooster now is pretty proud,
But wouldn’t he be merry
If roosters only were allowed
To dress like some canary!
And wouldn’t it be fun to catch
A little silver bunny!
If Easter eggs would only hatch,
My, wouldn’t that be funny!

Not to project too fine a point onto a simple imaginative poem, but how do we know what we might become when we are someday “hatched” into new resurrected bodies? We will be like Him, and we will be the continuing and eternal creation of a very creative God.

My, won’t that be funny!

Edited and reposted from Easter, 2013.

“Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:6-11

Christian songwriter and artist Michael Card writes in his book (co-written with his wife, Susan), The Homeschool Journey: Windows into the Heart of a Learning Family:

“In Philippians 2:6-11 we find a wonderful passage of Scripture that was a hymn used in the worship services of the early church. Known as the “Carmen Christi” or “hymn to Christ” it is a song that first-century spies overheard the Christians singing at a time when the church was meeting in secret. It was a hymn which undoubtedly afforded them a measure of comfort in their trials because it offered a vision of Christ was and what he had accomplished.

In this hymn, Jesus’ incarnation is highlighted by its three central characteristics: servanthood, humility, and radical obedience. It is from this simple, ancient song that Susan and I derive our vision of who Jesus is and what he means to us. It is the vision that shapes our individual lives, our marriage, our family life, and even the way we choose to educate our children.”

Are we serving one another with humility and in obedience to Jesus Christ who gave himself for us? Are we waiting patiently on the Lord of all things in heaven and on earth, making ourselves like Him in our actions here on earth so that we can be with Him in heaven?

Now that’s an Easter goal that embodies the Christ-like