Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Beyond Our Shores~Oslo Girls' Choir


We have had the incredible privilege of going to Europe twice at Christmas Time. It is awe inspiring to actually see that our Savior has been worshiped in Europe for centuries. The beautiful traditions that have been developed over time and efforts and unity make being there to celebrate with them a wonderful opportunity to grow. Beholding a 700-year-old manger in St. Giles Cathedral on Christmas Eve in Edinburgh at the Midnight Service was an experience never to be forgotten or outdone! Christmas in Italy was also something that cannot be compared to anything we had experienced before it. The majesty of hearing the choirs in the ancient cathedrals and beholding the precepes (nativity scenes) everywhere in Italy was glorious.

When we saw the video presentation of Rick Steves and his family enjoying a European Christmas we thought what a fun gift that could be from us to you. It is not something you can unwrap but hopefully it will become a part of you as you ponder the joy of Christ in your own life and the wonder-filled things that make Christmas special to you personally. That is what this blog is about.

We have a series of travel videos by Rick Steves and this video was a part of one of them as an added bonus. Jim and I watch it a couple of time a year in our armchair travels. We were excited to see it is now available on YouTube in ten segments. So since Rick Steves has generously made it available we wanted to share it with you. (You can also buy it in its entirely and uninterrupted, and the CD of the music on ricksteves.com)

Hopefully it will be bringing joy into your heart because you and your family worship the same Babe in Bethlehem in a meaningful way. And we know this is important to you not only on December 25th but every day. That is what "Come Follow Me" is all about.

There is something so unifying in seeing how it is done in other places and cultures and although it is different, paradoxically it is also very much the same. The travel is exciting and the music a delight to our senses and hearts. Along with that we hope you enjoy the European traditions that are a visual feast for the soul.

In Europe we noticed a lot more emphasis on the Christ in Christmas which we truly appreciated. All over Europe the visual images and reminders of Christ prevail during the season. And whether or not you are a practicing Christian, in Europe you will be reminded everywhere you look that this belief in the Holy Christ Child is a big part of your heritage and culture. Oh, how sad it is that this is being lost in our country bit by bit every single year. The melting pot is getting kind of murky and yet is more divisive than ever. And the result is an angry and at the same time, an apathetic abyss. We cannot afford to succumb to the "whatever' mentality any longer. We have to work so much harder now to keep the truth and our faith something we love, honor and preserve for our posterity. Home and family and our allegiance to God are becoming more important with every passing day.

One thing I love about the video presentations is seeing how the hard work of maintaining the various cultural traditions in the families in Europe strengthens them! No wonder we are to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice versa! It is not just for the future....it is for NOW!

I have set this blog up so that you may enjoy the European Christmas videos all at once or for the ten days before Christmas one little segment each day as Christmas approaches. This is how it will appear on my main blog starting on December 14th. This will allow me to take a break from blogging while in New England if I choose, but I am pretty sure I will be adding things there too.

Clicking on the Christmas tree at the top right of the blog will bring you back to the beginning or top of the blog.

Hope you enjoy this and by the way, you are loved by Jim and by me...Merry Christmas. Thank you for being such a sweet friend and inspiring influence in our lives.

Here is a little preview of what is in store...




http://youtu.be/S0_Qer5f714

3 comments:

Marie said...

Just beautiful Bonnie. So enjoyed the choir. I hope that you and Jim have a lovely blessed Christmas with your family. There is a huge Catholic influence on the continent, whilst Britain has become very secular over the past decade or so. There is not a lot of "Christ" in Christmas here anymore, same as America. Very sad. xxoo

Deanna said...

Hello lovely lady! Rick Steves has been a favorite of mine for so many years and of course, his show has been the reason I have been saving for years to make a trip to Italy. I think your trip to Italy was one of the best things I had ever read.

I see that you will be in New England! I know that you will take some wonderful photos so I will keep an eye out for them.

Love you!
Deanna :D

Sister Susie said...

I love the sound effects in these kind of churches. When I visited Israel, it was so inspiring to hear the different choirs in the Christian churches there.

We don't have very many decorating this year (as of now.) Usually just about every house is decorated. It is so nice to see those that include the nativity scene.
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Susan