Day 331 | Saturday, 13 February 2021
As we continue our journey through this season, we may be feeling that we have had enough of the snow and the cold. Perhaps you are feeling like this has been a bleak winter. We are in the middle of February and looking forward to March which according to my wife is the beginning of spring. It is not just the season that has made this winter bleak. The COVID-19 virus continues to add to the bleakness (is that a word?) around us. As I write this, we are near if not over 480,000 deaths due to the virus in this country. New strains of the virus are a cause for concern. On the sunny side is the fact that more and more folks are being vaccinated daily. On the county level as of 5:00PM February 11th, the total number of cases is at 7,170 with 1,826 in the Jamestown zip code. 129 souls have died.
I have shared the following on a previous occasion. Since we have had snow and cold in recent weeks it seemed appropriate to share this again with you. For the Woodlander's, this is Barb’s favorite hymn.
In the Bleak Midwinter
The lyrics to The Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter were written by the English poet Christina Rossetti. Rossetti wrote the poem in 1872 (or earlier) as a response to the magazine Scribner’s Monthly’s request for a Christmas poem. When Gustav Holst composed a melody to the poem in 1906 a new Christmas carol was born. Another popular version was composed by Harold Darke’s in 1909.
“In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter, long ago.”
“Our God, Heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.”
“Enough for Him, whom cherubim worship night and day,
A breast-ful of milk and a manger-ful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.”
“Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air,
But only His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss.”
“What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.”
Lord, thank you for the rays of sunshine that come into our lives during those bleak, midwinter days. We always appreciate the warmth of your love. Be with us this day. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus