Christmas readings from the Revised Common Lectionary Year A, B or C: Isaiah 9 or Isaiah 62 or Isaiah 52, Psalms 96, 97. (Below) I will save Psalm 98 for next year.
|יְהוָ֣ה מָ֭לָךְ תָּגֵ֣ל הָאָ֑רֶץ |
יִ֝שְׂמְח֗וּ אִיִּ֥ים רַבִּֽים
|1||Yahweh reigns. Let the earth rejoice. |
Let the multitude of coasts be glad.
|עָנָ֣ן וַעֲרָפֶ֣ל סְבִיבָ֑יו |
צֶ֥דֶק וּ֝מִשְׁפָּ֗ט מְכ֣וֹן כִּסְאֽוֹ
|2||Clouds and dark turbulence surround him. |
Righteousness and judgment are the stability of his throne.
|אֵ֭שׁ לְפָנָ֣יו תֵּלֵ֑ךְ |
וּתְלַהֵ֖ט סָבִ֣יב צָרָֽיו
|3||g||Fire walks in his presence, |
and will blaze his surrounding foes.
|הֵאִ֣ירוּ בְרָקָ֣יו תֵּבֵ֑ל |
רָאֲתָ֖ה וַתָּחֵ֣ל הָאָֽרֶץ
|4||His lightnings light the world. |
The earth saw and was in birth.
|הָרִ֗ים כַּדּוֹנַ֗ג נָ֭מַסּוּ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה |
מִ֝לִּפְנֵ֗י אֲד֣וֹן כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ
|5||Hills melted like wax from the presence of Yahweh, |
from the presence of the Lord of all the earth.
|הִגִּ֣ידוּ הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם צִדְק֑וֹ |
וְרָא֖וּ כָל־הָעַמִּ֣ים כְּבוֹדֽוֹ
|6||The heavens make evident his righteousness, |
and all the peoples see his glory.
|יֵבֹ֤שׁוּ ׀ כָּל־עֹ֬בְדֵי פֶ֗סֶל הַמִּֽתְהַלְלִ֥ים בָּאֱלִילִ֑ים |
|7||All servants of a graven image will be ashamed, boasting in the good for nothing. |
Worship him all gods.
|שָׁמְעָ֬ה וַתִּשְׂמַ֨ח ׀ צִיּ֗וֹן וַ֭תָּגֵלְנָה בְּנ֣וֹת יְהוּדָ֑ה |
לְמַ֖עַן מִשְׁפָּטֶ֣יךָ יְהוָֽה
|8||Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced |
on account of your judgments, Yahweh.
|כִּֽי־אַתָּ֤ה יְהוָ֗ה עֶלְי֥וֹן עַל־כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ |
מְאֹ֥ד נַ֝עֲלֵ֗יתָ עַל־כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים
|9||For you Yahweh are Most High over all the earth. |
You are supremely ascended over all gods.
|אֹהֲבֵ֥י יְהוָ֗ה שִׂנְא֫וּ רָ֥ע |
שֹׁ֭מֵר נַפְשׁ֣וֹת חֲסִידָ֑יו
מִיַּ֥ד רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים יַצִּילֵֽם
|10||Those who love Yahweh hate evil. |
He guards those who are under his mercy.
He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
|א֭וֹר זָרֻ֣עַ לַצַּדִּ֑יק |
|11||g||Light is sown for one who is righteous, |
and gladness to the upright of heart.
|שִׂמְח֣וּ צַ֭דִּיקִים בַּֽיהוָ֑ה |
וְ֝הוֹד֗וּ לְזֵ֣כֶר קָדְשֽׁוֹ
|12||Be glad in Yahweh you righteous ones, |
and give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
And for something quite different and sensitively told, see James Tabor's post on the historical Jesus here. (I have used the 'son of Panthera' idea in a romantic reconstruction of the times after Jesus in the first century, my novella, Seen from the Street, presently 'out of print', but perhaps I will reread and revise it a little over the next year as I complete TNK. I could use another critical editor. Let me know if you are interested.)