God’s Christmas protest?

Two days before Christmas 1974, plumb in the middle of a decade of prosperity, Church of the Nazarene pastor, Herbert McGonigle, left St James’ Hospital in Leeds around five o’clock, just as the Christmas lights were coming on in all the shops in that city’s famous high street, the Headrow. As he was driving towards the city centre area, there ahead of him in Schofield’s, Leeds’ largest store, he saw displayed across five windows in three-foot-high letters what had originally been the oft-sung Advent text from Luke chapter two verse fourteen: ‘Glory to God in the highest’. However, God had rearranged the message by flicking off the final ‘E’ with his finger, leaving a very significant new message to all shoppers: ‘Glory to God in the High St’!

You may ask, how do I know it was God? Well, it certainly wasn’t the devil’s doing; he would just have shot himself in the foot, wouldn’t he? He never openly advertises his religious motto for Christmas, which is: ‘Glory to money in the High Street’ – preferring to suggest it subliminally. For he is well aware that Jesus had categorically stated: ‘You cannot serve God and money’ (Matthew 6:24).

Heaven’s carols – from ‘way back’ till ‘beyond time’
* That original Advent angel choir continued their oratorio with the line: ‘Peace on earth among those of good will’ (Luke 2:14 margin), echoing the final chorus of Psalm 72, Solomon’s coronation song, which concludes Book II of the Psalter. After praying for the king:
‘May his name endure for ever. … May … all nations call him blessed!’
the psalm ends with the wish for universal honour to be given to ‘the Lord, the God of Israel’:
‘Blessed be his glorious name for ever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!’ (Psalm 72:17-19).

* Isaiah’s call to the ministry came as he had listened to a choir of heavenly beings proclaim antiphonally:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; may his glory fill the whole earth(Isaiah 6:3 margin).

* And the apostle John, when caught up to heaven on the island of Patmos, saw crowds of human worshippers there with harps, who sang ‘the song of Moses and of the Lamb’ (Revelation 15:3-4).  Moses’ song on the farther shore of the Red Sea asks, ‘Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?’ (Exodus 15:11), ending: ‘The Lord will reign for ever and ever’ (verse 18). John was enthralled as he listened to their worship:

‘Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!
            Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!
            Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?
            For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you,
            for your righteous acts have been revealed.’

[] Let’s honour the Lord – especially in the market place!

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