I can hardly believe that it is only three weeks until Christmas. The time has really flow. Even with the head start I got on my gifting errands, I still feel like I have so much yet to do. I am confident that those feelings of rushed preparation will subside greatly once the long-distance gifts are wrapped, packed, and shipped by the end of this week. Then, I will be left with the “fun” stuff --- decorating the tree, baking cookies, and listening to hours of Christmas carols. Here is one that my daughter found on a website called The Hymns and Carols of Christmas. Sadly, it hasn’t been operating of late.
The Cedar of Lebanon
The cedar of Lebanon, plant of renown,
Hath bowed to the hyssop his wide spreading crown;
The Son of the Highest as Infant is laid,
On the breast of His mother, that lowliest maid
All glory to God in the highest we sing,
And peace upon earth through the newly born King.
From the Star of the Sea the glad Sunlight hath shined,
Springs the Lion of Judah from Napthtali’s Hind,
The Life from the dying, the Rose from the thorn,
The Maker of all things from maiden is born. (chorus)
The manger of Bethlehem opens once more
The gates of that Eden where man dwelt of yore,
And He Who is lying a Child, in the cave,
Hath conquered the foeman, hath ransomed the slave. (chorus)
In the midst of the garden the Tree of Life stands,
And offers His twelve fruits to lips and to hands,
For the Lord of Salvation, the Gentiles’ Desire,
Hath ta’en from the cherubs their swordblade of fire. (chorus)
On the hole of the aspic the sucking Child lays,
And His hand on the den of the cockatrice lays,
And the Dragon, which over a fallen world reigned,
By the Seed of the Woman is vanquished and chained. (chorus)
To Him Who hath loved us and sent us His Son,
To Him Who the victory for us has won,
To Him Who shed on us His sevenfold rays,
Be honor and glory, salvation and praise. (chorus)
Note: ”aspic” and “cockatrice” refer to the cobra or serpent in Isaiah 11:8 (KJV).
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.