‘Twas The Night Before Christmas According to Edgar Allen Poe


The rhythm is often off since I haven’t sat down with it as much as I would like. It’s not even finished, really, and I wouldn’t be surprised if thousands of people have already undertaken to do the same. After all, Edgar Allen Poe was a genius and Clement Clarke Moore’s poem lies close to the modern practices. Ah well, at least it’s good for a laugh: “T’was  The Night Before Christmas to The Tune of The Raven”.

T’was the night before Christmas Evening, as children slept (all weak and weary)
and naught a mouse was appearing, throughout my silent house,
that past my stockings hanging, there suddenly came a banging
As if someone quickly landing upon my lawn outdoors
‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered “this is all…
…nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in cold December where each family member
Lay down upon his (or her) precious bed.
My dearie’s kerchief flapping, and my head all night-capping,
And sugar-plums all a-clapping within our sleepy heads.
But that infernal clatter forced me to check the matter
as I jumped up out of my bed,
thus to the window I was led.

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering fearing
And then, suddenly, hearing a hefty voice appealing eight fearsome reindeer all by name!
“Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen!”
Shouted out and then revealing a sleigh that they bore
And a little Old Driver dressed in days of yore.

Furred from head to foot, under layers of chimney soot, there he rode he with all the presents that he bore.
Chubby, plump, sweet and cheery, eyes a-twinkling, dimples merry, rosèd cheeks and nose-like cherry fast he entered in my chamber door.
Not the least obeisance made he, nor a chuckle gave he, as he walked right past me
“No! It can’t be!” I gasped “Old St. Nick?”
Thus he answered: “Ho Ho Ho.”

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The post ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas According to Edgar Allen Poe appeared first on Rey Reynoso's Bible Archive.

King Jesus Over Us

If we find that we have not trusted in the only one with authority, the one who has already conquered, the one who will return again we are actually his enemies. We are the ones who are standing in opposition to His Kingdom.

The clarion call of the Gospel is Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand! The Son is coming back! We must submit to the power and authority and majesty of him who has been declared both Lord and Christ else we stand on our own power and authority in contradistinction from him.

That pride and idolatry will be dealt with.

And if we have trusted in him? Let us strengthen feeble arms and weakened knees (Heb 12:12) while making every effort to live in peace with everyone and be holy (Heb 13:14). Let’s continue to draw near to the Lord because we’re his people.

We’re not those that have to approach with trembling with fear (Heb 13:21) but we can come near to the Lord, to the very Kingdom of God established in Mount Zion (Heb 13:22-24) as part of a kingdom which cannot be shaken.

We can worship Jesus, the Lord God our King, with reverence and awe (Heb 13:28) as a holy nation with an inheritance that doesn’t fade away (1 Peter 1:3).

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Jesus: A King Who Conquers

Christ isn’t some weakling who is just waiting for people to repent while he bites his nails hoping they do. Paul says that Christ must reign until all his enemies are made his footstool (1 Cor 15:25). We see a war waged against the Lamb and he personally conquers over his enemies because of who he is (Rev 17:14). The book of Revelation is filled with horrifying images, but how powerful and horrifying is the image of Christ, on a horse, slaying his enemies like grapes in a winepress, their blood filling a valley several miles wide so that his horse has to wade through it (Isaiah 63:3; Rev 14:14-20;19:11-16)?

Jesus is no weakling King.

He is a King who has authority right now, and will enforce that authority on a later date. Gentiles will continue to flock to him and eventually sit beneath his banner (Is 11:10) while the Jews realize their error and flock to him (Ho 3:5) and ultimately all his handed over to God (1 Cor 15:28).

When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

And it is in this context that Paul thinks about Adam: the King who failed and didn’t conquer. Adam couldn’t even rule over his own home and winds up having creation rule over him.

Jesus is a King who conquers.

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Jesus And His Kingdom

The father of the house might call himself King over the home and we get what he’s saying. In the home, Dad’s Rule reigns.  How far will Husband get with Wifey if he says “Woman, I am King in this house”?

Or what about the teenager who has on the door of his room “King of My Castle”: weird thing to have a King who has authority over a room in a house that isn’t his. A King without a Kingdom is a strange thing.

Christ is not a King without a Kingdom. He outright says that his Kingdom is not of this present world (John 18:36). But more so, his Kingdom is one that is everlasting (Dan 2:44; Luke 1:33), is righteous (Ps 45:6; Heb 1:8-10; Isa 32:1; Jer 23:5), in which all the saints are subject to Him (Col 1:13).

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves

Jesus has an overarching eternal kingdom.

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Jesus: The Revealed King

In Lord of the Rings by the Christian author JRR Tolkien, a man lives in the wild. He is an ugly man, rough around the edges from long harsh years. But we discover that this man, out of all men, is actually of the lineage of the old Kings. By the end, he is revealed as King with a crown and a flag—but before that he is revealed by action and circumstance.

Jesus declared himself to be a king in various ways, but not usually the way the people expected. For example, in Matt 25:34, he speaks of the Son of Man returning to separate the Goats and the Sheep and we see that he is speaking about a King is functioning in a kingly capacity under God.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

But he doesn’t only illustrate the point, he acts on it. So you’ll see him commanding the very dead to come back to life in John 11, or feeding the crowds by fiat (John 6) ,  or demanding the storm to be still (Mark 4:35-40) thus revealing a power over creation that has been lost since Adam.  You’ll see him forgiving sin and making the lame walk, and even pointing out that both occur because the Son of Man has authority (Matthew 9:4-8) to do so:

Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

The Wise Men came seeking a king and they found him (Mathew 2:2) and one day every knee in heaven and on earth will bow to him (Isa 45:23; Phil 2:10) but Jesus points out that he was a King right while he was here (John 18:37) and more so, when he conquered over the grave waiting until his enemies are made his footstool (Psalm 110; Acts 2:32-33).

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Jesus was revealed as King.

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Jesus: A King by Birth

We know the stories. A Kingdom has lost all of its royalty—be it by murderous intent or by lack of birth. The whole thing is in danger of collapsing. Suddenly, a living descendant to the throne is discovered, a king by birth, and he gets to rule as king.

But it’s impossible to see Jesus as King merely by lineage. After all, it wouldn’t be surprising that David had many descendants—especially if you go through Solomon who had access to a thousand women.

Jesus, out of all David’s descendants was born of God (Matt 1:18). That is, not some matter of genetic lineage,  but born at exactly when God wanted him to be born (Gal 4:4), sent from the very throne room of heaven (John 1) and born of a woman without the aid of man. His birth was heralded by angels (Luke 1:26-38) and expected by Israel as sung by Mary (Luke 1:46-55). Even his enemies would acknowledge that he is a King, even if they’re being ironic (John 19:19) but more so when they witness his death: surely, says one of the soldiers, this was the Son of God (Matt 27:54).

So we can’t see Jesus as coincidentally filling a role because he has the right lineage: it’s not possible. God was altogether involved in his inheritance and authority.

Jesus was born to be King.

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Jesus: A Necessary King

We know that Israel received prophecies of a King. For example you have as early as Numbers 24:17 where Balaam prophesies, against his will, the coming of a King.

I see him, but not now;  I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

When I read it, it sounds like a King who is primarily local to that area. That’s not surprising. A prophecy given to a prophet in a specific area and situation; maybe he is given what he needs to know. Prophecy, after all, is not merely To Know Things but for building up, encouragement, comfort (1 Cor 14:3) and a call to repentance (1 Cor 14:24-25).

Therefore, you discover constant expectations of a King explicitly mentioned like in 2 Sam 7 or Psalms 2 as God laughs while his King is installed on Mount Zion or Psalms 45 where a king gets married.

This wasn’t a change in the plans of God.  It wasn’t like things had gone so bad that a King had to show up to clean house. After all, Deuteronomy 17, the very Law of God, has a built in section on how Israel is to choose their Kings and how those Kings are to act. Even if later history (as the book of Kings goes about showing) doesn’t work out according to blueprint, the fact is that the expectation of a King wasn’t a change: someone had to rule.

This goes back as far as Genesis 1. Adam was to function as a King over creation, ruling as God’s representative and with God’s prerogatives. Creation was given to him and his spouse to enjoy and to rule over (Gen 1:26). The fact Adam failed didn’t attest to the failure of The King Project, but it pointed to the expectation of a future King over all, like Adam, who would reign and, unlike Adam, not fail in the day of testing.

Therefore a King that is demarcated as glorious (Psalm 2:7-10), supreme (Psalm 89:27), who sits on the very throne of God (Rev 3:21) and reigns on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 34) was a necessary expectation. There was no other way to put a fallen and rebellious creation back into the position it was supposed to be: under God’s righteous control.

Jesus was that expected King. He had to be king.

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Jesus: King of Righteousness

While working through the book of Hebrews I’ve noted that the writer puts forth the point not only that Jesus is Priest (Heb 5), but that Jesus is King (Heb 1 and God and Man: Heb 2). He purposefully goes about looking at a historical figure, Melchizadek, who was both a king and a priest to illustrate the point (Heb 7:1-3). I will look at five aspects of Jesus as King and what it means to us.

We don’t have many kings today in the sense we often see in Scripture. Any kings that come into power in England don’t have any real power and when we look at Presidents or Prime Ministers, we have elected officials—be it by the people, by parties or by a Parliament.

In third world countries we might find these Kings that reign in power and their word has final say, but more often than not we think “tyrant” when we consider them.

Projecting backwards to understand Christ causes problems.

This examination  of Jesus as King during Christmas week will be in six parts: (1) A Necessary King; (2) A King by Birth; (3) A King Revealed; (4) A King’s Kingdom;  (5) A King Who Conquers; and  (6) What this all  means to us.

I can probably spend weeks on these points, but I want this to be not so much exhaustive but rather sweeping so as to underscore a fundamental aspect (though not The Fundamental Aspect) of our Gospel: Jesus Christ is King.

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