So This is Christmas

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So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The war is so long
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

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4th Sunday of Advent 2017 – Obedience As We Wait

The whole season of Advent is one of anticipation, of eager awaiting of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who brings hope, peace, joy and salvation to all mankind. Like the Israelites in Babylon exiled from Jerusalem in the first reading, on earth we are all waiting for our heavenly homeland feeling many a time, lost, abandoned and disillusioned.

The savior of all, whom the prophets of the past spoke about in the second reading, has been born in utter simplicity as a baby, a human being, like us. The great and almighty Word of God, the Son of the Father, Jesus, has chosen to live among sinful and ungrateful humanity. From day one, Jesus was rejected and deprived of every place of shelter in his town and visited by “shepherds” who were despised outcasts (the “gypsies” or illegal immigrants of that time). If Jesus was born in similar conditions today, where would that be?

The word became flesh and dwelt among us precisely to be present in the miseries of the world. Jesus desires to bless every person and liberate all who are enslaved by fear, hatred, anger, loneliness, money, power, status, addictions, oppression, hopelessness, indifference, passivity in life, passions of the flesh, etc. Whether we are aware or not, we are often times enslaved to something or someone, and unable to live in the light, in grace and truth.

Are you willing to accept that Jesus can fulfill your life more than anything or anyone of this earth can? Or are you going to reject Him from entering fully into your life and cause him to sleep out in the cold again with nowhere to rest his head?

When we learn to anticipate Jesus’ coming fully into our lives with the right spirit, we will surely want to embrace rather than reject Him.

Blessed Christmas! http://www.one.org.sg

3rd Sunday of Advent 2017 – Salvation is Close

A deep sense of confidence and assurance radiates from the readings on this Third Sunday of Advent. Keeping in mind the great challenges experienced by the Jews in the first reading and the Christians in the second reading, Isaiah’s and Paul’s message of joy and hope sounds out of concord with their immediate circumstances. However, worrying and fretting can only take you so far. Their words have stood the test of time. Although written in different situations at different times, their message is rooted in the same loving God who has called us and will not fail us (1 Thes 5:24) because God has clothed us in garments of salvation and wrapped us in integrity (Is 61:10).

In knowing intimately the God they bear witness to and worship, Isaiah and Paul are not only able to speak confidently about God’s promise but also urge their communities to live with joy and hope knowing that they are God’s chosen people.

The question of identity also shines through in the readings. We see it taking shape in the Gospel when John the Baptist clears all doubts about who he is. His identity is an anchor. When asked, “Who are you?” He replies with conviction. He’s the forerunner,  the one sent to prepare the way for Christ’s coming. His reply moves us to anchor our own identities, in relation to Christ.Read More »

Coping with Loneliness at Christmas

by Rusty Wright

Feeling low this Christmas season? You’re not alone. Amid cheery songs, festive parties, gifts and good wishes, many lonely people are crying or dying on the inside. Maybe you’re one of them. I was.

During a horrible year, my wife of 20 years divorced me, my employer of 25 years fired me, and I had a cancer scare. As I drove home one night, lovely Christmas music came on the radio. Melancholy aching evidenced the deep pain of abandonment and loss that I was still processing.

No fun.

One widow recalled how she felt during the Christmas after her husband’s death: “Little mattered to me. I didn’t want to hear carols. I didn’t want to be cheered up. I didn’t want to look at perky Christmas cards. I wanted the same thing I’d wanted every day for eight months: the strength to force myself out of bed in the morning, to brush my teeth and to eat.”

One possible influence, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a form of depression the medical community doesn’t completely understand. The Mayo Clinic says genetics, age and body chemistry could be the culprits. Mayo recommends seeing your doctor if you feel down for days and have motivation problems. Symptoms can include changing sleep patterns and appetite, feeling hopeless, contemplating suicide, or seeking comfort in alcohol.

How can you cope with Christmas loneliness?Read More »

The First Noel

noel

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The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o’er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

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Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ [Cloverton Lyrics]

hallelujah

I’ve heard this song hundred times, but still cry for hundred times too! Best rendition ever!
Kaylee Rodgers, a 10-year-old girl from Northern Ireland singing a solo during her school choir’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, has autism and ADHD. A student at Killard House Special School, she started singing as a way to help build her confidence.

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I’ve heard about this baby boy
Who’s come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only Son was born, oh Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You’ll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Savior, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the wisemen three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

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watch Kaylee’s video here