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Det kimer nu til julefest

Det kimer nu til julefest, 
det kimer for den høje gæst, 
som steg til lave hytter ned med
nytårsgaver: fryd og fred.

1    The bells of Christmas chime once more;
    the heav'nly guest is at the door.
    He comes to earthly dwellings still
    with new year gifts of peace, good will.

2    This world, though wide and far outspread,
    could scarcely find for you a bed.
    Your cradle was a manger stall,
    no pearl nor silk nor kingly hall.

3    Now let us go with quiet mind,
    the swaddled babe with shepherds find,
    to gaze on him who gladdens them,
    the loveliest flow'r of Jesse's stem.

4    Oh, join with me, in gladness sing,
    to keep our Christmas with our king,
    until our song, from loving souls,
    like rushing mighty water rolls!

5    O patriarchs' Joy, O prophets' Song,
    O Dayspring bright, awaited long,
    O Son of Man, incarnate Word,
    great David's Son, great David's Lord:

6    Come, Jesus, glorious heav'nly guest,
    and keep your Christmas in our breast;
    then David's harpstrings, hushed so long,
    shall swell our jubilee of song.

Text: Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872; tr. Charles Porterfield Krauth, 1823-1883, alt.

The Bells 
    When I was around 10 years old, my family lived in a new suburb that was built right in the middle of farm and orchard country in Washington. Our home was a few blocks away from a church that sat on a hill, and every Sunday the church bells would ring out before services started.  The sound was beautiful and always caught my attention. Then, one evening in the summer, the bells rang out in the middle of the week.  After the bells stopped, there was a pause, and then the most beautiful sounding chimes started playing a song from the same church.  It continued most nights through that summer, fall, and winter.  Soft, but very beautiful. The 7 minutes or so that the bells and music played was magical.  It was a comfort that I looked forward to every evening.
    The night Jesus was born, an angel appeared to shepherds in the fields and brought them the good tidings of his birth (Luke 2)    ”And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”
     I can still remember hearing those bells and chimes playing this message on Christmas Eve night, softly and over the entire valley.  They were always so beautiful and comforting to hear.
The Bible encourages the faithful to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalm 100).  Christians began the tradition of using bells as part of their worship and as a way to communicate information over long distances.  Because ringing bells often symbolizes joy, they are sometimes played on Christmas Eve to celebrate the coming of the Lord (Psalm 95:1; 98:4).
A Happy and Blessed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to All!

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