The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017
A bush in our front yard packed down with small snow balls.
"Heaven's Flash Choir"
Note: For the first time in a couple of weeks we both plan to get out for our chaplain visits. Things are beginning to return to normal for which we are thankful.
Message summary: Today let us consider a special flash choir that was present at the birth of Christ.
Listen to our message on your audio player. (Mostly Brooksyne!)
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased" (Luke 2:14).
We both enjoy choir music, although Brooksyne more so. Brooksyne has directed choirs for many years and now enjoys singing in one. In my case (Stephen) from an analytical perspective I think it's amazing, especially in a large choir, how the voices synchronize so that the words are clear, the blend musically is tight and sounds as one voice. It just seems if they all started even a fraction of a second before or after one another the words would sound blurry (which for the record I realize is not an official musical term).
Brooksyne has been invited to be a part of a "flash" choir at Lancaster's Central Market to sing the Hallelujah chorus. You've probably seen videos of these such as the one we post below recorded at Macy's in Philadelphia by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, which is colorfully called "A Random Act of Culture". I like this version because several years ago we visited this huge store and saw the massive Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ.
These flash choirs are intended to be a surprise and the participants are often spread throughout the crowd lending additional surprise when that person standing next to you starts singing out in a beautiful voice that blends with other voices all around the room.
Today let us consider a special flash choir that was present at the birth of Christ. They joined the angel who had proclaimed the birth of Christ to the shepherds. "And suddenly (that's the flash part!) there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:..." Now Scripture does not elaborate on how many were in this multitude but I think it was probably a pretty big group. I am also pretty sure they had a good sound that projected for all to hear (with no sound techs or sound equipment)!
The words in our daily text are the summary of praise of the heavenly host of angels to the Shepherds at the time of Christ's birth. I use the word "summary" since I wonder if there was actually more to their message that Luke summed up as “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" If that's all I heard a choir sing it would probably leave me wanting a just bit more singing than that!
Today we consider the phrase "on earth peace". We associate Christmas with love, joy, and peace, but also in the same Scriptural narrative there is the written record of unimaginable evil. We know the story but it's not a section of the Christmas narrative we choose to focus on. We might even prefer to skip over it since the backdrop seems to be unconducive to what we perceive as the proper setting for the Christ Child's arrival.
King Herod, in an effort to destroy the Christ Child King, ordered his soldiers to kill "all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under" (Matthew 2:16). What a horrible time this must have been. Herod was an exceedingly evil man. We also consider the moral depravity of the soldiers in carrying out such an evil command. Even though we know Herod's motivation there is no reason to believe the inhabitants of Bethlehem did.
We who believe in Christ still live in a fallen world with much evil and unrest. The peace of which the angels sang sure does not appear evident. Rather, all around we see strife. But the peace the angels spoke of is not the external circumstances that surround us. Rather it is the peace that Christ imparts within our hearts when we know Him as Savior and Lord. True peace in other ways will come when the Prince Of Peace returns. Ultimately a time when "the wrong shall fail, the right prevail."
The peace reigning within our hearts is truly a gift from God that surpasses all tangible gifts. Won't you receive this peace and the Christ of Christmas today!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, just as the angels came for the purpose of praising to You at the arrival of Your Son on earth, we too want to unite our voices to declare Your goodness in sending Jesus to live among us, to provide a way for us to find salvation and thereby inherit Your peaceable kingdom; for now, it is within our hearts but it will someday be experienced in heaven for all eternity.
Special Year-end Financial Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.
To donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376
Please Note: We also provide this familiar option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned about receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"
Coming home Saturday night after the first seasonal snowfall the wreath on the side of our home had this fluffy white adornment (not fake snow!)
Backyard view from our bedroom window.
Yesterday I passed this old red truck on Main Street in Mount Joy.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Hallelujah!" Video Opera Company of Philadelphia flash choir
"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" Video Casting Crowns
Oren and Naomi are longtime local friends with a steady walk with the Lord and many examples of service to others. Here's an excellent article about Oren's uncle featured on Operation Shoebox that touched our hearts. It will amaze you! 100-year-old West Virginian Packs 100 Shoebox Gifts
"The Best Christmas Love Story" Article by David Penley (David is a Texan friend who writes thoughtful articles intended to strengthen marriages.)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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