The Story of the Birth of Christ as Told by Luke:
Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with Child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the LORD came upon them, and the glory of the LORD shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD. 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the LORD hath made known unto us. 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the Child, His Name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
This Christmas Day, why not start celebrating Jesus’ birth by listening to and watching two amazing “flashmob” videos, a new one featuring the United States Air Force Band and an oldie but goodie featuring just plain folks.
Whether either should rightfully be characterized as “flashmobs,” which term suggests violent and criminal demonstrations, is conjectural although the effects of rapt attention are similar.
Earlier this month, a lone cellist unexpectedly entered onto the floor of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Milestones of Flight gallery. The cellist was gradually accompanied by 120 musicians and vocalists from the United States Air Force Band who thrilled museum visitors with a moving four-minute performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s ”Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring/Joy to the World.”
See, hear and enjoy the performance here http://tinyurl.com/phkbbyv. (Incidentally, the video was authorized by the Department of Defense and therefore is in the public domain; copying, editing or reproduction are permitted and encouraged.)
Way back on November 13, 2010, an unidentified group of talented, multi-aged, multi-racial ”flashmobbers” literally jumped to their feet in the food court of a Stamford, Connecticut shopping mall and performed a stirring rendition of George Frederic Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” for the lunchtime entertainment of shoppers who were literally enthralled.
Whether many in the audience knew the origins of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” that it concludes the second part of Handel’s oratorio on Christian doctrine, Messiah, and is a deeply-religious work, didn’t matter to their audience any more than the fact Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring/Joy to the World” was a Christian religious hymn mattered to the Smithsonian tourists.
See, hear and enjoy the mystery Stamford food court performers here http://tinyurl.com/28w3kq2.
It may be sadly true that the wars on Christians and Christianity are in full bloom in America and the world but one can always hope that, just perhaps, music can bring a peaceful end to them.