Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

For the fifth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… A similar though cheerier anticipatory text than Day 2, this hymn was written by the great Charles Wesley. Every line contains rich Scriptural illusions. The first verse shows our longing and need for the presence of Jesus. In the last verse, Wesley references theContinue reading “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

The First Noel, and a second

For the fourth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… The First Noel is rightfully one of the most iconic Advent hymns we have today. It is a summary of the Christmas narrative collected from Luke 2 and Matthew 2. “Noel” is the English derivation of the French word for Christmas, Noël. The poemContinue reading “The First Noel, and a second”

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

For the third text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… A musical tradition Christians adopted for Christmas is wassailing. Wassailing comes from an old Saxon phrase for “be of good health.” It’s often a New-Year’s toast where people use it today, frequently accompanied by warm cider. There were two types of wassailing. The firstContinue reading “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

For the second text of Christmas this blogger gives to thee… One of the oldest texts we have for Christmas, O Come, O Come Emmanuel (alternatively Immanuel) was originally used for Latin masses before the 8th century. Translated into English by J.M. Neale in the 1800s, it was musically adopted from a fifteenth century FrenchContinue reading “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

O Little Town of Bethlehem

For the first text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… We begin our exploration of Christmas texts with a poem written near TWS headquarters, right here in Philadelphia! Shortly after the American Civil War, the Reverend Phillips Brooks, then the rector at Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, visited the Holy LandContinue reading “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

Twelve Texts for Christmas

Hello TWS readers! My name is Colin. I’m a cellist and teacher who loves worshiping God. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year;” especially if you love Christmas music! Dr. Samuel Hsu, late professor of music history at Cairn University, was a passionate advocate for the “communion of the saints.” This is not justContinue reading “Twelve Texts for Christmas”

Psalm 6 and a Glance Into the Creative Process

So this morning I was reading Psalm 6 and I posted this picture to TWS’ Instagram (FYI, follow us on Instagram!). One of the ways I study Scripture is I write songs based on or inspired by the Scripture. This forces me to wrestle with presenting the Scripture in a new but true way thatContinue reading “Psalm 6 and a Glance Into the Creative Process”