This old hymn (the tune of which was written by James McGranahan, a descendant of Ulster emigrants) seems appropriate for today's Diamond Jubilee celebrations here in the United Kingdom. The original words are here on Cyberhymnal. The tune was used by Ry Cooder in the soundtrack of the classic 1980 Western 'The Long Riders'; you can listen to it on YouTube clip below, from 1.43 - 3.15. Superb version.
One of Elizabeth II's predecessors, King James, was brought down a peg or two in the late 1500s by Andrew Melville. At that time James was (only) King of Scotland and had developed a high opinion of himself and his status - read M'Crie's account of their encounter here. Queen Elizabeth II seems to need no lesson is that regard. Here is an excerpt from the Queen's speech last Christmas:
"...Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.
God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.
In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.
It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord..."
Sunday, June 03, 2012
Posted by Mark Thompson at Sunday, June 03, 2012