Author Archives: Victoria Emily Jones

Oh, What a Wonderful Child!

“Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child” is a Christmas gospel song, likely of African American origin (see Dean McIntyre’s hymn study for more information). It gained popularity in 1994, when Mariah Carey sang it on her Merry Christmas album. The … Continue reading

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The Two Genealogies of Jesus, the Curse of Jeconiah, and the Royal Line of David

Several passages in the Hebrew Bible (which Christians refer to as the Old Testament) prophesy that David’s throne will be established forever: 2 Samuel 7:12–16; Psalm 89:3–4, 132:11; Isaiah 16:5; and Jeremiah 33:17. Jews, therefore, have taken that to mean … Continue reading

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Jesus as the Root/Shoot/Branch of Jesse

The Tree of Jesse—a representation of Jesus’s genealogy in the form of a tree—was a popular subject in medieval Christian art. Its name derives from the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11:1 and 10: “There shall come forth a shoot from … Continue reading

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A new song on the Beatitudes

The Beatitudes are a catalog of blessings that form the introductory portion of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Disappointed by the lack of musical adaptations of this important Gospel text, some musicians at Hope College in Holland, Michigan—whose students have been studying the Beatitudes this … Continue reading

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Instead of Santa, Christkindl

In many parts of Germany the secret delivery of gifts on Christmas Eve is attributed not to Santa Claus but to the Christkind (“Christ Child”)—or, in diminutive form, Christkindl. The idea that the baby Jesus is responsible for such a … Continue reading

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Roundup: Jazz Advent medley, whitewashed Jesuses spark lawsuit, Christ as Shanti Data, Kitschmas gift ideas, and a South Park ditty

Jazz Advent medley: The video below is taken from a 2012 Advent service at Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston. It features a jazz arrangement of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Sam JC Lee (he’s the one on the double … Continue reading

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The Christmas song that gets me every time

I am very rarely moved to tears by music. But “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is one song that consistently evokes that reaction in me. The acclaimed American poet Henry Wordsworth Longfellow wrote the words on December 25, … Continue reading

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Nicholas Mynheer’s Glass Screen at Islip

In 2013 I wrote on Mynheer’s etched-glass screen of St. Nicholas and St. Edward the Confessor, which I had the privilege of seeing in situ. ArtWay has just published an adaptation of that article today, St. Nicholas’s feast day: http://www.artway.eu/content.php?id=2008&action=show&lang=en. … Continue reading

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Jesus home lighting devices (a little kitsch for your day)

Let Jesus light up your life with one of these nifty night-lights. So handsome. Way to go; Jesus gives you two thumbs up. Good Shepherd. His Sacred Heart burns passionately for you. Now allow me to introduce you to Cyclops Jesus … Continue reading

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Roundup: Why I celebrate Advent; Advent songs for kids; the dark shadows of Christmas; new research on the Star of Bethlehem; adoring Christ

“Seven Reasons to Celebrate Advent” by Ryan Shelton: Many Protestant churches, including the one I grew up in, forgo the celebration of Advent and other seasons of the church year, unconvinced of their value. Like Mathis, I wasn’t introduced to … Continue reading

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