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December 24, 2005

Christmas, 2005
Posted by Teresa at 11:54 PM *

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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.

And the angel said unto them, �Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.�

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.�
Comments on Christmas, 2005:
#2 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 12:19 AM:

I can never read that without hearing glorious music echoing in the rafters of untold churches.

A merry christmas to all - and to all a good year.

#3 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 12:37 AM:

May peace, joy, and good work be your lot, both of you. Merry Christmas, and a year full of good news.

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 12:49 AM:

Avram, I've been doing it since my GEnie days. I suppose I could vary the translation, but I'm hardwired for the KJV.

#5 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 01:20 AM:

All too many Mary's and Mariams are stopped at checkpoints when trying to reach a birthing center or hospital, these days. Too many babies die at the Israeli checkpoints; remember them when thinking of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to stop on that cold night (and it's COLD - snowing in Jerusalem today, which is not too far from Bethlehem).

Merry Christmas; and may this be a year of peace and joy for us all.

#6 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 01:50 AM:

Mele Kalikimaka to all.

#7 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 01:53 AM:

Merry Christmas, and [deity or deities of your choice] bless us, every one!

May all good things be yours today. Me, I'm holding out for roast potatoes, bread sauce, chestnut casserole, and maybe a sugar mouse.

#8 ::: Lois Aleta Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 02:18 AM:

Merry Christmas to all* and to all a good night!

*Or, where applicable, Happy Hanukkah. And to those who observe neither, have a nice day just on general principles.

#9 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 02:23 AM:

Merry Christmas to all!

...and safe travels to those who have to be on the roads today.

#10 ::: S. Dawson ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 02:58 AM:

Merry Christmas, Teresa and Patrick, and thank you for not varying the translation. It means a lot to those of us whose early religious education came from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

I saw the mayor of Bethlehem being interviewed on CNN. He said he had heard that all the hotels were booked. It's remarkable how little things change in two thousand years...

#11 ::: Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 09:44 AM:

You know, I have a Linus bobblehead on my desk.

My very first online journal entry was a salute to Charles Schultz, who had just passed that day, and I recalled how moved I was I first saw that moment in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" where Linus steps out onto the bare wooden-planked stage and recites that simple passage.

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

(The genius of that scene, however, is that before he begins, Linus says, "Lights, please," and a spotlight magically appears on him. Now that's show business.)

#12 ::: Beth Meacham ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 10:16 AM:

Merry Christmas, my friends.

#13 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 10:44 AM:

"Lights, please."

#14 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 10:56 AM:

Teresa: even though I know there is no particular reason why God and Her angels should sound like 17th century Englishmen, nevertheless I too am hardwired for the King James version.

We human folk are sure slow learners, aren't we?

Blessings to all this day, and peace to those of good will.

#15 ::: Cherie Priest ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 10:56 AM:

[:: snoopydance ::]

#16 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 11:05 AM:

The New RSV is not very different, actually, in this chapter. I think they didn't want to lose the best bits either.

#17 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 11:56 AM:

Merry Xmas, Happy Hannukah, Good Yule, Io Saturnalia, Happy Mithras's Birthday, Joyous Sunreturn....

#18 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 12:03 PM:

Happy, joyous, and/or blessed, as appropriate, to all.

#19 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 12:09 PM:

Happy Hanuka, everyone.

Thank you, Goddess, for blessing us, sustaining us, and keeping us alive to reach this joyous season once again.

#20 ::: Paula Kate ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 12:16 PM:

God rest you merry gentlemen as you sit by the fire

And pity us poor travellers that trudges through the mire

God rest your friends, your kindred that lives both far and near

God send you a happy Christmas and a bright new year

#21 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 12:48 PM:

May the Lord God bless you, keep you, and bring you the joy of this most holy day.

Teresa, Patrick, thank you.

#22 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 01:19 PM:

Every year my family listens to "John Denver and the Muppets' A Christmas Together." During one of the songs, there is a section where each muppet wishes everyone else a merry christmas.
This just reminded me of that.

Merry Christmas you guys.

#23 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 01:19 PM:

...and a Happy Merry Jolly one to all.

#24 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 05:35 PM:

Merry Christmas to those as wants it, and especially to our hosts. And hi, Dena.

#25 ::: Harry Payne ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 06:58 PM:

Thankyou. The same to you and all who post here; especially Dena Shunra, who seems to really need it.

#26 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 07:10 PM:

Merry Christmas, Patrick and Teresa, and to all others here who observe this happy feast, and joy and blessings to one and all.

#27 ::: Darice Moore ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 08:00 PM:

Merry Christmas, and thank you for the all-year-long gift of "Making Light." It's just what I wanted!

#28 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2005, 10:21 PM:

Happy day all, I got mooned and flashed (by an almost-three-year-old nephew in 'pull-ups'). I second the thanks for Making Light, it's the best daily read I have online.

#29 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 02:24 AM:

Oops. No he doesn't. Sorry, that was the last post. What a pillock.

#30 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 09:40 AM:

And Los Angeles got dampness (I hesitate to call it rain) for Christmas. It's a lovely change from sunny/dry/windy!

Happy Whatever! (Wonderful thought: if it's a solstice festival, do we get to have it twice a year?)

#31 ::: J. Cheney ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 12:10 PM:

Merry Christmas to all, and have a greeat Boxing Day.

The KJV, with its archaic flow of language, was and still is a masterpiece.
I've read the New Century Version (based on the Bible for the Deaf), which is simplified, and it certainly sacrificed a great deal of the beauty of the language for simplicity.

#32 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 02:55 PM:

Happy Boxing Day! Weather is drizzly today, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day saw all the doors open and the warm, dry winds blowing the wrapping paper around. Friday the 23rd was Jim and my three-cubed anniversary, celebrated with a few close friends. Having gotten married on the Saturday closest to the "longest night of the year," I remember waking up the next morning with this awful morning person singing loudly and cheerfully, and wondered if it was too late to get an annulment. He turned out to be a wonderful morning person in that he didn't require that I be one, too.

#33 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 03:11 PM:

And Astronomy Picture of the Day for Dec 25 is Apollo 8's Earthrise.

#34 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 04:59 PM:

Happy second day of Christmas! Yesterday was a good day, starting out at my sister's (that's where the kids are) then on to most of the day inside with the inmates we work with, then back over to my sister's for expertly prepared prime rib. A high point was ending with small glasses of 21 year old Ficklin port that we found packing up my mother's house.

I love the Authorized Version as well, and have never thought it as bad a translation as some say, even though I prefer others for study. That familiarity and rhythm make it a great liturgical translation. The problem, often, with using the KJV in teaching or preaching is that very fact that it is so familiar, it feels "wired in" to our minds. Sometimes, it is much too pretty, which makes it easy to to listen to whithout hearing. The original Greek of, say, the Gospel of Mark, is much more rough, immediate, and in some ways shocking than the KJV. It is possible to love the words so much that what they mean can just flow by.

My preference, as a Catholic, when teaching is the New American Version, which is nothing if not plain, and even clumsy in places. But it is different while being faithful to the text, and more jarring to the ear. It can have more of an impact, sounding new and unfamiliar, making people pay a little more attention to what is being said, and less to how.

At least that is my experience. For my own reading I would prefer either the Jerusalem or NRSV.

#35 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 06:56 PM:

Happy St. Stephen's Day to you all! Happy Winter-Holiday-of-Your-Choice!

And may 2006 be a better year!

#36 ::: J. Cheney ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 07:26 PM:

Claude: I agree.
I find the New American Standard best when studying. It is far easier to understand for that purpose than the KJV or even or the RKJV.

I enjoy reading the KJV, but am experienced enough with it to know what the more complex sentences mean. For anyone not familiar with the text, it can be horribly confusing.

I wrote a story in which the phrase
'create in me a clean heart' appeared. One of my critiqers did write in and tell me that the sentence structure was odd, and I might want to rewrite it because it was confusing...(only 1 out of 16, though).

#37 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2005, 08:07 PM:

While this may be initially cumbersome, I would recommend reading the KJV for its poetry and going to a translation comparison site for study and edification.

My favorite for a good long while has been - it has served me well when trying to find mistranslations.

It has a frequently happened that a bible quote appeared in an English text and the translator translates it verbatim into Hebrew - rather than quoting from the source. This can be tricky to catch!

#38 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2005, 10:56 AM:

Happy Christmas[1] and Hannukah[0]. *

Peace on earth.

*in the C sense, not the footnote sense.

#39 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2005, 01:30 PM:

I wrote a story in which the phrase 'create in me a clean heart' appeared.

Psalm 51, right? I set that to music one time. That part is the first line of a round, and set to very tame stepwise-motion music, with "and put a new and right spirit within me" harmonizing with all the leaps and strange intervals.

Other highlights of that piece include the men singing in Latin while the women sing the corresponding line in English, to different (but harmonizing) music.

#40 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2005, 10:01 PM:

...gonna find out who's naughty and nice...

#41 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2005, 12:54 AM:

I didn't stop by here over the holidays, but I still hope you all had joy and peace at this season.

(I always thought Maddy Prior had it right - her "Year" song cycle has songs for Spring, Summer, Fall, Christmas, then Winter. This time really is its own Season. I observe it as Christmas, but I sometimes do think that using that as the catchall for the whole of the "dark time of the year" is a mite misleading. Anyhow, good wishes to all who've helped drive out the darkness of this time with joy, family, friendship and faith. And probably candles or little sparkly electric lights.)

#42 ::: Clifton Royston sees comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2008, 02:44 AM:

Not sure what the point is, but it's clearly spam, on 4 threads.

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