Published: Thursday, 08 December 2022 12:32
Today’s devotional is by Matthew Winning
“I’ve always liked the music of ‘The Holly and the Ivy’. The jolly tune with its bouncy quavers and repeated melodic jumps was always nostalgic of past Christmases for me. Although, to my shame, I never listened to the words of the carol intently… not past the first verse anyway. My excuse was that, since this wasn’t the sort of carol you’d sing together at church, it’s easy to miss some of the details in the lyrics. I thought ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ was mostly about the colourful decorations we put up in our houses on the countdown to Christmas day, the nature and the leaping deer and the music, rather than having any real substance like ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ or ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. To be truthful, I missed most of the references to sin and redemption, and the imagery of Jesus and His life and death.
Read more: Christmas Carol Countdown | No.18 – The Holly and the Ivy
Published: Tuesday, 06 December 2022 10:00
Today’s devotional is by Becky Watson
“Song lyrics are fascinating as you can tell a lot about the writer and their surroundings. ‘It Came upon a Midnight Clear’ has a fascinating story, and one that is, in fact, very appropriate for today.
The carol was written in 1849 by Edmund Hamilton Sears, a minister from Massachusetts. He penned it as he recovered from a bad illness, during which he reportedly had a breakdown. Like today, there was a lot of political and economic unrest at the time. The US was reeling in the aftermath of the Mexican War; there were rumblings of revolutions across Europe; and the issue of slavery was beginning to be a burning topic across the states.
Read more: Christmas Carol Countdown | No. 20 – It Came upon a Midnight Clear