Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Looking For Holy In All The Odd Places

I wonder if the 2006 edition of Barbra Streisand ever looks back on her previous incarnations and thinks, “What the heck she was doing?”
Through the years Barbra has blessed many songs and songwriters with her voice. It is a great voice, and I enjoy her music, although the cliché gag doesn’t hold true: I’m straight as a ruler.
Anyway, tonight I was listening to the 1967 edition of Barbra Streisand-The Christmas Album, and as she sang “Silent Night” it occurred to me that “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” is said to the baby Jesus Who, being the Prince of Peace, Would sleep Heavenly. Others may have made that connection decades ago-I never said I was quick.
On the same album, after “Ave Maria”, Barbra presents a reverential, faithful, “Lord’s Prayer”. I wouldn’t have thought to include it on a Christmas album, but there it is, and I like her rendition.
Again, as usual, Bethlehem is too dangerous for many tourists to visit this Christmas-there’s no room at the foxhole. But the Prince of Peace, when He returns as King, will make all of Israel a peaceful, beautiful garden. Israel itself will be much larger then the few acres they inhabit now-
“14The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. 16“I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. 17“Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” 18Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.” Genesis 13:14-18

24“My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. 25“They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever. 26“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27“My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28“And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.” Ezekiel 37:24-28

“He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.”
Thanks, Isaac Watts, Lowell Mason. You were looking forward to the return of the Lord, just as we are. Let Earth receive her King!

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