Festival of Lights

festical-light.png James declares: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights” James 1:17.  God is light, and Jesus Christ, his only begotten son is declared to be the light of the world. Thus, through the inspiration of the word of God as sung and portrayed through the human voice, brought to the stage of the human imagination is a vision of living faith that could never be portrayed on an earthly stage.  The listener’s mind travels back 2,000 years, focusing on the market place of a small village bordering Bethlehem.  Sheep bleat, children play, goats nay, and marketers sell their wares as busy villagers bustle about their daily chores.  Business is as usual…almost.  But something is vastly different in the demeanor of some of the villagers.  A magnificent star that hangs over Bethlehem is effecting the villager’s lives, announcing something that had never happened before, nor shall happen ever happen again.       

Another Silent Night

another-silent.pngJesus Christ is distinguished among men as no other man could, can, or ever will be… in his fraternal, royal, and divine genealogy, or his ‘seed’ Matt. 1:1; John 1:1.  He is man and he is God; he is God and he is man; he is the God Man.  While He is the only ‘begotten’ Son of God Isa. 7:14; John 3:16, He is the Son of Man, the only man whose lineage is both divine and human, traceable to Adam, who was the ‘created’ son of God Luke 2:23-38. He is the Son of God, the “only begotten Son of God” John 3:16, the Incarnate Word of God, Christ Jesus, a divine soul in a human body.
Just as his lineage is three-fold, so is His ministry.  First, His Prophetic Ministry, from age thirty to His death; second, His ‘dual’ ministry from his resurrection to his return as High Priest to Israel, and head of the Body of Christ; and thirdly, His Kingly Ministry, that terrible ‘day of the Lord’ when, accompanied by the ‘armies of heaven,’ He will return in great power and great glory to subdue all Lords, all Kings, all kingdoms, and will reign with a ‘rod of iron’ over ‘all’ political and religious systems of the world Rev. 19:15.
Most familiar among scripture references is John 3:16, which depicts the love of God for the world.  Less familiar is the revelation of God’s mystery ‘in Christ’ v. 17.  Even less familiar is the revelation that the lost condition of men is not to be a product of their conduct, but of their simple failure to trust their souls to the ‘only begotten son of God’ v.18. The prognosis for this dysfunction of the human soul is clearly declared by scripture as well v. 19: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Night and darkness are scriptural metaphors for evil.
In the personal absence of Jesus Christ, the ‘only’ light that reveals the ‘powers of darkness’ is the word of God. For the discerning student of the word, this metaphor shouts from the lines of scripture, and parallels the threefold ministry of the Lord’s Christ Acts 4:26.  Thus the title of this Oratorio, Another Silent Night, a story in lyric and melody that reveals the evil that stalked our Lord in His earthly, prophetic ministry; the evil that sought to destroy Him the night of His betrayal before He could complete the redemptive plan of God upon the Cross; and in the vast expanse of the last two millenniums, the evil that has subtly metastasized through the Church, a malignancy that has eaten away the essential foundation of the Christian faith, the faith of Jesus Christ, and the only requisite with the power to save the souls of men, one’s will to trust in His death, burial, and resurrection,
The evident absence of this ‘saving faith’ is grossly manifested before us today in the mockery of the cynic; the scoff of the doubter; the total disregard for the natural course of nature and affection by the reprobate; and the blasphemy of the creator, who made it all, for whom it all was made, and to whom it all belongs.
The shock is, this ‘cancer’ not only manifests itself in the secular, godless, and atheistic world, but in the growing apathy and apostasy of the Church, and its carnal, ‘new age’ worship, and identity with the world.  However, make no mistake, the word of God is true, sure, and final. The Lord’s Christ is coming again.
Until then, this story in lyric and melody is intended to increase our knowledge of scripture, lift our hope, reinforce our faith, and remind us of the great dichotomy of truth, God’s loving mercy, and His all-consuming wrath that frames the divine character of the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Savior we serve.  His great love and mercy should leave on our lips a melody, and in our hearts a fear of His all-consuming wrath for the destiny of the souls of men who reject that great love and mercy.  Without hesitation, we all, like Joshua, should proclaim to the world, “...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15)

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