The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/15/2009):

C. S. Lewis on Christmas
There is a health update at the end of this message.
Registration is now open for the 2010 CALVIN SYMPOSIUM ON WORSHIP,
January 28-30, 2010, in Grand Rapids. Presenters include Jeremy Begbie, Marva Dawn, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Lester Ruth, John Witvliet, and many others.

Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE contains two short bits about Christmas from the writings of C. S. Lewis: first, a protest against the secularization of the Lord's nativity; and second, a children's poem about what we might learn from the animals at Bethlehem's stable.

Just a hurried line . . . to tell a story which puts the contrast between OUR feast of the Nativity and all this ghastly "Xmas" racket at its lowest. My brother heard a woman on a bus say, as the bus passed a church with a Crib outside it, "Oh Lord! They bring religion into everything. Look—they're dragging it even into Christmas now!"

— C. S. Lewis, LETTERS TO AN AMERICAN LADY, (December 29, 1958), edited by Clyde Kilby. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967, p.80.

Among the oxen (like an ox I'm slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox's dullness might at length
Give me an ox's strength.

Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Savior where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.

Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence.

— C. S. Lewis, from POEMS, edited by Walter Hooper, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977.

============================================ (“O Come, O Come, Immanuel”) ("Thou Who Wast Rich") (C. S. Lewis) (Dudley-Smith) (Dudley-Smith) (Ambrose and Luther) (Dutch Carol) (Ulrich Shaffer) ("The Gift of Gifts") ("Of the Father's Love Begotten") ("Joy Has Dawned") (Spurgeon) (Augustine and Lewis) (Thomas à Kempis) (Clarkson, Communion Hymn) (Wise Men and Worship)


Dear Praying Friends,

Longer journal entries and new photos about my cancer journey are available at (click on "journal" or "photos").

I had a full week in the hospital (Dec. 3-10), dealing with a fever and a regimen of antibiotics to treat the infection. This will be a busy week for me at the hospital. Today the doctors will install an Ommaya Reservoir under my scalp, and on Thursday, I will get a new double power port in my chest. Both of these will allow the doctors to target my medications to the right parts of my body.

The wheels are rolling to find a donor for my upcoming stem cell transplant. Please pray for effectiveness of these medicines and a clear and perfect match with a donor.

We continue to fight the disease, trusting in a God who is both great and good. Your concern and prayers are precious to us.

"Let every heart prepare Him room."
In His perfect care,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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