“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” ends with a shout and a whisper and a promise. First the undeniable joy of hymns and chants and high thanksgiving, a fellowship of worship that invites us all into this moment—no, this eternity—of jubilee. It’s a no holds barred, throw the doors wide, raucous celebration of the Father’s love perfected in the sacrifice of his son and fulfilled in the sanctification of his bride.
Honestly, Joy seems like too much to ask for right now. It is the most difficult of the Advent virtues: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. It feels like an unlikely indulgence for the privileged, unconscionable in light of today’s news.
In addition to the fact that I apparently have a soft spot for Christmas carols with the symphonic “O” in their title, I love “O Come” because it is achingly beautiful. The minor key quiets my frenzied brain even as it stirs up deeper longings in my soul—a hunger and thirst for righteousness, to see Jesus face-to-face.
I love the hymn “O Holy Night” for its drama, for its soaring melody, and mostly for its seemingly impossible theological and historical claims.
With these three short essays, three members of iAt's Editorial Board bring a fresh perspective to what it means to practice thankfulness through journaling, prayer, and song.
It's 1944. Otto Steinke is too old to be drafted, his son just a few months too young. Besides, both are needed because the Allied cause requires mountains of food, food the Steinkes can produce on their Iowa farm. Not everyone can be a soldier—even some who really, really want to be.