Season’s Greetings Saints!
Today’s Bible Reading & Verse
Malachi 3 and Revelation 21
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
Joy is the serious business of Heaven. – C. S. Lewis
Today’s Song Story
All Things Bright and Beautiful
The words to this hymn were written by Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), the wife of William Alexander, the Anglican Bishop of Ireland.
Mrs. Alexander was a prolific author, and a number of her books and writings were published during her lifetime.
She was inspired to write this hymn when trying, with difficulty, to teach a group of children the meaning of the Apostles’ Creed. When traditional teaching methods failed, she decided to write a series of hymns based on various phrases of the creed. She based this hymn on the phrase, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." It was those last words, "maker of heaven and earth," that particularly inspired her. The hymn celebrates "Each little flow’r that opens" and "Each little bird that sings." It speaks of "glowing colors" and "tiny wings." But, most of all, it affirms that "The Lord God made them all."
Mrs. Alexander wrote other hymns to illustrate other phrases of the Apostles Creed. They include "Once in Royal David’s City" –– "There Is a Green Hill Far Away" –– and "He Is Coming! He Is Coming!" She thought of these as children’s hymns, and published them in a collection of hymns entitled Hymns for Little Children in 1848. It was a fabulously successful hymnal that went through nearly seventy editions during her lifetime and one hundred editions altogether.
Mrs. Alexander was quite generous with her time and money. She donated the profits from Hymns for Little Children to a school for the deaf. She was active in a ministry to unwed mothers, and was also instrumental in establishing a nursing service in her area.
While this hymn maintained its popularity through the years, it received a big boost when the English veterinarian, James Herriot, at the suggestion of his young daughter, named his first book, All Creatures Great and Small, after a phrase from the first verse of this hymn. He subsequently wrote three additional books that he named after the other three lines of the first verse of this hymn –– All Things Bright and Beautiful –– All Things Wise and Wonderful –– and The Lord God Made Them All. His books became quite popular, and inspired a movie as well as a long-running television series.
Billboard’s Countdown of the Top 50 Christian Songs of 2012
(WARNING: many of the ads on YouTube are offensive to Christians and may contain swearing and immoral acts. I suggest you follow the instructions at the bottom of the page to play these songs without any commercials or ads)
Center of It – Chris August
The Proof of Your Love – for King & Country
Strong Enough to Save – Tenth Avenue North
Redeemed – Big Daddy Weave
Forgiveness – Matthew West
Learning to Be the Light – Newworldson
All This Time – Britt Nicole
Jesus, Friend of Sinners – Casting Crowns
When the Stars Burn Down – Phillips. Craig & Dean