Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Messiah Part 3: "For Unto Us A Child Is Born"

This third video of pictures and music from 'Messiah' tells the story of the Virgin Birth, beginning with the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary in Nazareth, her journey with Joseph to Jerusalem/Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus and the shepherds' visitation in Bethlehem, and finally the return of the Holy Family to Nazareth, where Jesus was brought up until the time when he began his divine ministry as an adult. All pictures were taken in the Holy Land by Mary Beth and myself in 1993. (The picture of the silver star at the 2 min. mark was taken in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, at the traditional site of Jesus' birth.)

Messiah Part 2: "Comfort Ye My People" and "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted"

In this second video of Messiah (about 7 min. long), I am combining two movements--Comfort Ye My People & Every Valley Shall Be Exalted--with pictures from the Holy Land that Mary Beth and I took on our trip there in 1993 (and then a later trip I took with Nathan and some church members in 1996). Jerusalem is depicted in the first movement and the environs of the Sea of Galilee are shown in the second. (Don't forget that you can watch any YouTube video 'full screen' by clicking on the button in the lower right corner of the video.) Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Messiah 'Overture'

I have set the 'Overture' from Messiah to pictures that Mary Beth and I took on our trip to the Holy Land in 1993.  These particular photos come from the wilderness lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.  This particular version of Messiah was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

"A Highway for our God"....An Advent Sermon

December 4, 2005; Rev. Carl Lindquist
First UMC, Morganton, NC

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.  A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”    Isaiah 40:1-11

If there is one thing that Americans love, it would be their automobiles, don’t you think!  There is no love affair more important in terms of its impact on our lives or our culture.  Cars and trucks dominate our economy, with one of seven jobs involved somehow with them.  They profoundly determine where we live, (mostly in the suburbs,) the way we date, the way we build our cities and towns.  Automobiles even help to dictate what wars we fight, because when you import most of your oil and much of that oil goes to run our cars and trucks, it helps to make sense of why we’re willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to fight wars in the Middle East, where there is mostly desert but also a whole lot of oil.

Photo by Carl Lindquist, in Israel, March, 1993
Be that as it may, when you love automobiles the way we do, one other thing is for sure: you’ve got to have lots of highways.  And we do love our super highways, don’t we.  They are a source of tremendous pride to us, and I once read somewhere that our highway system constitutes the single largest domestic government expenditure of money in American history.  And as we all know, there’s nothing like getting out on the open road, with a powerful, comfortable vehicle as your fingertips, and just driving for hours and hours.  We love it. 

Our highways allow us to move far from home and still return on a regular basis to see our families.  That was the reason we could move down from New York to North Carolina twenty years ago, even though most of our family remained there.  With the fabulous superhighways coursing through the American countryside, we could get on a four-lane highway within about a few miles of home at one end, drive for about 11 or 12 hours, and get off at the other end within a few miles of any of our relatives.  Oh, the magic of modern super highways.