John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Advent 2011: O Come Let Us Adore Him

A little early for this one, but there's a good reason for it, I swear! Our choral anthem in church this morning was an old favorite of mine, Mendelssohn's "There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob." I have quite a long history with this particular song; back when I was in the Monks and Westminster Choirs at First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois, we sang this on Christmas Eve every year, and I'm fairly certain I sang it at least once with the choir at Catoctin Presbyterian in Waterford, Virginia. So I was pretty excited when our choir director at Christ Presbyterian here in Madison pulled it out for us this year. Interestingly, our section leader had not only never sung it, he was totally unfamiliar with it. It struck me as funny, because when I was his age (he just graduated from UW-Madison this year) I had already performed it at least a half-dozen times.

Mendelssohn took the title and part of the text from the Old Testament book of Numbers, chapter 24, verse 17: "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall crush the forehead of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." This passage is said to prophesy the star leading the Magi to Bethlehem. (Or, cynics might say, is the passage that inspired early Christians to add the story of the Magi to the nativity story so as to bolster their claim that Jesus was the Christ.) Hence, this attractive stylized portrait of the Magi, which really shouldn't be appearing now, but after Christmas, approaching the Epiphany. However, so what. It's a cool card and a cool song so you're getting it now.

O Come Let Us Adore Him
Card designed by Eleanor for and copyright © Tiny Prints
Tags: advent: 2011, greeting card, music, religion

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