the christmas nines 2011 :: 4.40

it’s time for our (almost-annual) christmas special! this year we’re bringing back “the nines” with readings from the sbpodcast crew and our listeners.

a little background from wikipedia:

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a format for a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.

The format was based on an Order drawn up by Edward White Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury but at that time Bishop of Truro, in Cornwall, for use on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1880. Tradition says that he organized a 10 pm service on Christmas Eve in a temporary wooden shed serving as his cathedral and that a key purpose of the service was to keep men out of pubs on Christmas Eve.

The original liturgy has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. Lessons and Carols most often occur in Anglican churches, but also in some Roman Catholic, Lutheran parishes, and Presbyterian institutions. However numerous Christian churches have adopted this service, or a variation on this service, as part of their Christmas celebrations. In the UK, the service has become the standard format for schools’ Christmas carol services.

we hope you enjoy the readings, the music and have a wonderful time with friends and family remembering the birth of our savior.

readings ::

genesis 3:8-19 – jonathan blundell
genesis 22:15–18 – tim jones
isaiah 9:2; 6–7 – laurie blundell
isaiah 11: 1–3a; 4a; 6–9 rob griggs-taylor
luke 1: 26-35; 38 – stewart cutler
luke 2: 1; 3–7 – travis mamone
luke 2: 8–16 – will taylor
matthew 2: 1–12 – thomas mathie
john 1: 1–14 – olwyn matthie

additional greetings ::

pastor nar
miriam mathie

music ::

john wickham – the holly and the ivy
the lower lights – in the bleak midwinter
the argyle project – jesus christ, the apple tree
so elated – redemption
stephanie gray – o come, o come emmanuel
shaun groves – kingdom coming
the lower lights – oh come all you faithful
will taylor – silent night
fields of ypress – heaven’s lullaby
the lower lights – little drummer boy
ben thomas – peace, here
tripp fuller – promise

Christmas Greetings

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations | Photo by Headphonaught

Christmas greetings to each and everyone of our listeners. We wish all our listeners a wonderful and merry Christmas. We hope that 2011 is an amazing year for each of you — and we’re looking forward to sharing more stories worth talking about in the year to come.

Share your holiday memories

Christmas kids
Christmas kids

Want to be a part of our annual Advent Christmas Spectacular?

We’re looking for your Christmas wishes, thoughts, memories, reflections and more. Share them with us and we’ll include them in our upcoming Advent Christmas Spectacular.

To share your thoughts, you can:

And just for fun, what’s your must listen to Christmas song/album? Share it in the comments below.

Thanks for listening and sharing your stories with us!

christmas nines :: 2.46

it’s that time of year, when all our listeners are invited to join in and help us celebrate the birth of our Savior.

thanks to everyone who joined in with a reading or sharing their Christmas thoughts, reflections and wishes!

we hope you enjoy listening and are able to share it with your family and friends this holiday season.

we look forward to many more great stories and episodes to come in 2010!

contributors ::
miriam mathie
stewart cutler [twitter]stewartculter[/twitter]
greg russinger [twitter]gregrussinger[/twitter]
avril cutler [twitter]avrilcutler[/twitter]
paula spurr [twitter]cowpunkmom[/twitter]
rob griggs-taylor [twitter]robgt2[/twitter]
angus mathie
dayna mathie
chad crawford [twitter]chadcrawford[/twitter]
jim bonewald [twitter]jbonewald[/twitter]
mike rusch [twitter]mikerusch[/twitter]
chris allman [twitter]chrisballman[/twitter]
thomas mathie [twitter]headphonaught[/twitter]
pastor lance spurr
jonathan blundell [twitter]jdblundell[/twitter]
& of course YOU – the listener!

music ::
djsiah – trippin
argyle project – o come, o come, emmanuel
half handed cloud – plant a little fir tree
church of the beloved – given
sojourn – let justice roll (live)
so elated – come thou long expected jesus
william ryan fritch – may all mortal flesh be silenced
the singing company – it came upon a midnight clear
adeline – all the angels
jj heller – star of wonder – we three kings
tripp fuller – remembering
the singing company – o holy night
sufjan stevens – joy to the world

What’s your Christmas wish?

If you had 3 Christmas wishes this year – what would they be?

Share them in the comments below, or call our listener line to share them on our upcoming Advent/Christmas episodes.

And if you need some help getting into the holiday spirit, enjoy these holiday episodes from last year:

Greg Holder talks about Advent Conspiracy
Advent Reflections
Advent Christmas Extravaganza
Advent Bonus episode

Advent thoughts and wishes

Want to be a part of our annual Advent spectacular?

We’re looking for your Christmas wishes, thoughts, reflections and more. Share them with us and we’ll include them in our upcoming Advent episodes.

To share your thoughts, you can:

And just for fun, what’s your must listen to Christmas song/album? Share it in the comments below.

Thanks for listening and sharing your stories with us!

#justicefriday :: Slave free Christmas

Light a candle

Already seeing Christmas/Advent decorations and sales at your local stores? Wanting to make a difference this year and ensure your purchases are slave free?

Be sure and check out NightLight’s and NotForSale’s online stores for products made by (and supporting) former slaves.

Both groups have some great jewelry and products for men, women and children.

Some info on NightLight:

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2

NightLight is an international organization committed to addressing the complex issues surrounding trafficking and prostitution by catalyzing individual and community transformation. NightLight’s vision is to offer intervention to sexually exploited women and children, to enable them to discover their dignity, and to provide a program of holistic transformation, empowering them to live and work in their community.

NightLight’s mission is to build relationships and provide hope, intervention, rescue and assistance to women and children exploited in the sex industry by offering alternative employment, vocational opportunities, life-skills training and physical, emotional and spiritual development to women seeking freedom. NightLight builds support networks internationally to intervene and assist women, men and children whose lives are negatively impacted by the sex industry.

In Bangkok, Nightlight operates as a business (NightLight Design, Co. Ltd) and a non-profit (NightLight Foundation). In the United States, NightLight operates as a 501c3 with branches in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Visit the NightLight store.

Visit the Not For Sale Campaign store.

UPDATE: Julie Clawson has a number of additional resources shared on her blog

the first Christmas sermon ever preached

This comes from Tony Jones as part of the Emergent/C Newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter by emailing ::

Envy not the pastor who has to preach another Christmas sermon this year. I don’t. Even the thought of coming up with something beautiful and profound for this Christmas update has eluded me for four days. To sum up the year—replete with joys and sorrows—and reflect on the Incarnation? in an email? Color me stumped.

So, instead, allow me to quote, in full, the first Christmas sermon ever preached, by St. John “The Golden Throat” Chrysostom in 386. The Antiochian Christans were the first to celebrate the Incarnation with its own feast day, December 25, and here’s how Chrysostom addressed those assembled on the morning of the Christ Mass:

I behold a new and wondrous mystery! My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn.

The Angels sing!
The Archangels blend their voices in harmony!
The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise!
The Seraphim exalt His glory!

All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side the Sun of Justice.

And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed, he had the power, He descended, He redeemed; all things move in obedience to God.

This day He Who Is, is Born; and He Who Is becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man; yet not departing from the Godhead that is His. Nor yet by any loss of divinity became He man, nor through increase became he God from man; but being the Word He became flesh, His nature, because of impassibility, remaining unchanged.

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him Angels, nor Archangels, nor Thrones, nor Dominations, nor Powers, nor Principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Yet He has not forsaken His angels, nor left them deprived of His care, nor because of His Incarnation has he departed from the Godhead.

And behold,
Kings have come, that they might adore the heavenly King of glory;
Soldiers, that they might serve the Leader of the Hosts of Heaven;
Women, that they might adore Him Who was born of a woman so that He might change the pains of child- birth into joy;
Virgins, to the Son of the Virgin, beholding with joy, that He Who is the Giver of milk, Who has decreed that the fountains of the breast pour forth in ready streams, receives from a Virgin Mother the food of infancy;
Infants, that they may adore Him Who became a little child, so that out of the mouth of infants and sucklings, He might perfect praise;
Children, to the Child Who raised up martyrs through the rage of Herod;
Men, to Him Who became man, that He might heal the miseries of His servants;
Shepherds, to the Good Shepherd Who has laid down His life for His sheep;
Priests, to Him Who has become a High Priest according to the order of Melchisedech;
Servants, to Him Who took upon Himself the form of a servant that He might bless our servitude with the reward of freedom;
Fishermen, to Him Who from amongst fishermen chose catchers of men;
Publicans, to Him Who from amongst them named a chosen Evangelist;
Sinful women, to Him Who exposed His feet to the tears of the repentant;

And that I may embrace them all together, all sinners have come, that they may look upon the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world.

Since therefore all rejoice, I too desire to rejoice. I too wish to share the choral dance, to celebrate the festival. But I take my part, not plucking the harp, not shaking the Thyrsian staff, not with the music of pipes, nor holding a torch, but holding in my arms the cradle of Christ. For this is all my hope, this my life, this my salvation, this my pipe, my harp. And bearing it I come, and having from its power received the gift of speech, I too, with the angels, sing: Glory to God in the Highest;
and with the shepherds: and on earth peace to men of good will.

To that I can only add: thank God for all of you, and Happy Christmas.

Tony Jones is the former national coordinator for Emergent Village. He is the author of a number of books, including The New Christians.

advent bonus :: 1.29b

over the last couple weeks both Thomas and Jonathan have shared messages related to the advent season. as you listen, you’ll likely hear the influence of several of the previous guests on our show as well as Thomas hearing Brian McLaren speak in Glasgow earlier this month.

while we wanted to share these thoughts and messages with you, they felt somewhat out of place with our original Advent Christmas Extravaganza, so we’re making this audio available as a special advent bonus for you.

we also included some of the music from each of the services. take a listen if you can and we’d love to hear your feedback. call our listener line to comment on this show, or any of our other shows. thanks again and Merry Christmas!

music ::
headphonaught & olywn’s weans – away in the manager
olwyn mathie – heaven’s child
scott galloway – o holy night.

Advent Christmas Extravaganza :: 1.29

this week we hope you’ll enjoy a break from the norm (if there is such a thing). we’ve put together what we believe to be a steller collection of music and reflections from our listeners around the world. it is a true Advent Christmas Extravaganza.

thanks so much to everyone who participated in the process and submitted Scripture readings and reflections!

contributors ::
johnny laird
alex (aldakila)
rob gt
trucker frank
agnus mathie
stewart cutler family
lindsay cofield
inspire youth
laurie blundell
chad crawford
jay thomas
jonathan blundell
thomas mathie (for getting all the UK organized :-))

music ::
djsiah – trippin
tripp fuller – promise
djsiah – mindspace
sojourn – amen, amen
williamson – cool people make me tired
john wickham – what child is this
sojourn – what child is this
brioskj – dawn of a wonderful day
spiritualized – step into the breeze instrumental (alt.mix)
so elated – stick with you
the singing company – o holy night
john wickham – do you hear what i hear
violet burning – o come let us adore him
so elated – shepherds and angels
brioskj – french kiss
church of the beloved – given
revolution void – weekend amnesia
shawn mcdonald – captivated

hope i’m not forgetting anyone! thanks again and hope you all enjoy!