Three Advent Stories: While Shepherds Watched

This carol reflects one of the most astonishing encounters of the Christmas story. On one level it is that familiar and well-loved story. Shepherds were in the fields among smelly and not-so-bright sheep. They had no power or influence. They had nothing to bring the baby King. However, the glory and the random beauty of…

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Three Advent Stories: Good King Wenceslas

The story doesn’t end well for the ‘Good King’, but it is an inspiring story of kindness and service and tells a much-needed message, not just at Christmas, but for Christians all year long. The carol we know today was written in 1853 by John Mason Neale to a traditional folk tune and was written…

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Three Advent Stories: O Holy Night

The central character of this stunning song was Placide Cappeau, a wine merchant and the mayor of Roquemaure, France. In 1847, to the surprise of people in his town, the parish priest asked Placide to write a Christmas poem. Placide’s only qualification at the time was his love of writing poems. The result was “Cantique…

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