This may be a trivial comment, but I have also been bothered (ever since I was a
child in fact) by those lines from Away in a Manger. We simply don't know
how much crying Jesus made, or for that matter, if cattle lowwed. Also ever
since I was a child I realized that there is no scripture that tells us that the
wise men were three in number so the "three wise men" have always
annoyed me. (Then again, there aren't any scriptures about the little
drummer boy either. I'd eliminate that song. Sorry if I ruined
everyone's Christmas.) Just one more: From the primary song about
Jesus' return, "Will earth be white with drifted snow, or will the
world know spring?" Having grown up in Hawaii, this line never resonated.
Plus, ever since I was about 8, every time I had to sing this, I complained that
the northern and southern hemispheres have opposite seasons. Now I'm back
to listening to Handel's Messiah.
I love those scriptures in Alma that were quoted in the article. Perhaps another
scripture that could be included is Luke 2:52 - "And Jesus increased in
wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." With this
scripture, Jesus was not born into mortality knowing everything apparently; he
also had to go through the same "human" process of learning and growing.
Amazing He increased in wisdom without sin as well. I don't know how many
mistakes I've made before I could increase in wisdom... thank goodness for
The irony of the ‘superman’ line is rich…
I love Mark Twain’s ‘recollection’ of his own birth. Upon
being born, he knew right off that he was the most pure and innocent person in
the room and immediately told everyone so.The Christmas carol verse
of the newborn Jesus not crying was probably never intended to be believable.
But it is a more pleasant picture than that of a crying infant getting on the
nerves of us so-called adults. More importantly, it fits the story of Jesus as
one of redemption or transformation as one chooses to believe.Merry
Christmas and good humor to all.
We don't even know whether there were cattle present. Indeed, cattle seem
unlikely to have been in a stable associated with an inn in that part of the
world. Why would it be there? Except in the imagination of the northern
European writer of the lyric? The bleating of goats or the baa of some
sheep - maybe. And what exactly does cattle lowing sound like. I grew up
among them. But I've never heard lowing.
Us mere mortals exhibit an astonishing diversity of traits, and in degrees. It
isn’t so far fetched that one individual, especially one endowed greatly
from on high, would exhibit the best of all those traits. In that regard He
would be “superhuman” in character, though fully human in body. To
the extent that wisdom requires experience, He would need to grow in wisdom over
time, yet there is another kind of wisdom – a listening heart –
which Christ would exhibit strongly from birth. We also need to be careful to
what we assign the title “virtue.” For example, stoicism is often
portrayed as a virtue, yet mourning with those who mourn – including
weeping from sorrow – is an aspect of charity and is not a weakness.
Christ did weep for us, bled for us, and died for us. And the Christ-child
being a babe not yet able to form words would, of course, cry to alert his
parents to His discomforts such as hunger, thirst, pain, or sorrow. Beyond
that, I feel to cut the lyricist some slack to establish a tone or mood, even if
the facts are not quite right.
I don't have a problem with the idea that Jesus might not have cried in the
imagination of the song writer. He probably didn't cry all the time. He
was probably a peaceful baby. Or, do we prefer the idea that he had colic and
never, ever stopped crying?
The Nativity is such an iconic event in popular lore that it’s pictured in
minute detail until we almost feel the chill in the winter night air and smell
the hay in the manger. Artists have been doing that for us for centuries and our
culture is richer for it.Oh Little Town of Bethlehem was penned as a
poem by a 19th century minister recalling his visit to the Holy Land. Neither
that carol, nor any other, depends on precise historical detail. The creative
ingredient is the power of imagination. That’s what gives us music of
sweeping lyrical beauty. It’s not history but every Christmas, I still
find the words deeply stirring.
The song may be more accurate than we think. My experience with babies is when
they are newborn there is very little crying. Maybe unless there is a medical
issue. So the idea that the newborn babe is not crying is most likely an
accurate illustration of what that night was like. I think this song speaks
about the day/night of birth.
RE: Craig Clark, "In *Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this
is what the prophet(Malachi) has written: ".'"( MT 2:5). Fulfilled Prophecy is what separates the Holy Bible from all other books.(Jesus)…born of Mary at* Jersusalem … who shall be
overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost(Spirit) and bring forth
a son yea, even the Son of God. ( Alma 7:10).The fullness of the
time was come, God sent forth his Son, *made of a woman, made under the law, To
redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your
hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal 4: 4-6)*made= (ginomai), Virgin
Birth.Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father
and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary
and, together with her, produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense
that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God's
Son, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35
Quoting further, Mouw spoke of our common “faith on the Lamb of God, who
taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all
unrighteousness” (Alma 7:14). “When it comes to the redemptive work
of Christ,” he concluded, “we say the same things.”--difference would possibly be, that we believe He does not save us
"in" our sins, but "from" them, indicating true repentance
necessary to access the Atonement fully, and the works we do in this life are
important as is our faith.
IMO I grant poets and composers artistic license to bring to pass the songs and
poetry in their hearts into the world for us to enjoy or ignore. I love carols,
poetry about Christmas, yet do not look to them for doctrine.I think
we are blessed by God to worship what or who we wish. Christmas was decreed by
someone to at or near winter solstice but from what I have read it probably was
spring, as shepherds were in their fields keeping watch.... Who cares? I love
the snow, ice cycles, and all the rest of the stuff.I believe in the
greeting bequeathed upon us all of Peace on Earth, good will to men (probably
mankind).The scientific and analytical among us, as they claim to
be, aren't much fun to be around this time of year no spirit of Christmas
for them, too mushy and not believable.Better cold hard facts, that's the
ticket. Might I suggest coal for you to study?
"The scientific and analytical among us, as they claim to be, aren't
much fun to be around this time of year."Why not? One
doesn't have to be an actual "believer" to participate in the
cultural rituals and enjoy the social benefits that such cultural practices
bring to a society. Santa Claus visits our house every year and I
quite enjoy the jolly old fat man...though I have never seen him or his eight
tiny reindeer. He is still one of my all-time favorite mythical heroes.
Furthermore, the message of peace on earth that the story of the Christ child
brings to the world is quite valuable.
During baby blessings in Church I've heard some cry and some not make a
sound. RGLoosen up a bit. No one ever claimed that
these Christmas carols were supposed to be gospel doctrine. Just enjoy the
DRay,"....He does not save us "in" our sins, but
"from" them, indicating true repentance necessary to access the
essential premise of the doctrine of atonement is that God for some vague reason
demands that full punishment be suffered for sins committed. In Christian
belief, Jesus voluntarily serves as proxy but with one crucial hitch. You have
to believe in him which leaves a lot of people out in the cold.That
grim suggestion should give a Christian pause to wonder why Jesus devoted so
much time, effort, and words teaching how people should treat others and not be
so wrapped up in themselves. Seems like an uneconomical effort if all he had to
offer was a shortcut to personal salvation.
"God became man" so declares the ancient Christian formula, "so that
man might become God." Also, the statement quoted by St. Athanasious the
Great --- both statements with which I agree. I wonder what Richard Mouw, the
prominent Calvinist theologian would say about these statements.
RE: Mouw, “we say the same things". … if ye are not born
again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; … the Lamb of God, who
taketh away the sins of the world, … and to cleanse from all
unrighteousness. (Alma 7:14).True,Except a man be born again, he
cannot see the kingdom of God(John 3:3); …. The Lamb of God who takes away
the sin of the world! (John 1:29 );… and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.(1 John 1:19).RE: Jsthor, Calvinist theologian would
say about? The Orthodox Church understands theosis as a union
with the energies of God and Not with the essence of God which always remains
hidden and unknown. However, the experience of the Church testifies that this is
a true union with God. Orthodox Christians) believe there are three persons in
the Godhead, each divine, distinct and equal. The Father God is the eternal
head; the Son is begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the
Father. See( Athanasius creed, on Tri-unity)(theotetos*=Godhead,KJV) lives in bodily form(Col 2:9 NET) Or,In him dwells
all the completeness of the *Godhead bodily. Jesus’is forever the God-man.
When I sing the song, I quickly substitute "not much" for "no"
crying He makes. I do it quietly with a smile. Merry Christmas!
As to whether the Savior had colic as a baby, it is notable that he was "a
man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief."
All the words don't mean a thing if you don't keep your own.
@ Layton, Utahphilosophies of man, mingled with
scripture...misinterpretation, uninspired by the Holy Spirit. Just one more
indisputable reason for modern, living Prophets to give us pure truth.
I'm more than a little bit astonished that Athanasius—assuming the
quote in the article is accurate—basically said something 1600 years ago
that affirms one of the most controversial doctrines of the Restored Gospel: the
doctrine of exaltation, or that man can in fact become like God through Christ
and the power of his atonement. It's deeply ironic that the man who is
largely responsible for the Nicene Creed could be quoted as having said
something that is so diametrically opposed to what Nicene Trinitarian Christians
profess. Good job, author.