by J. V. Fesko
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is one of the better-known hymns that is typically sung during the Christmas season. What some may not know is that it originated in the Middle Ages, around A.D. 800, as an antiphon, or anthem, that was restructured into verse form in the 1100s and was eventually published in Latin in 1710. The hymn was later discovered, translated, and published in 1851 by John Mason Neale, an Anglican minister.
As people sing this hymn, they know that they are singing about the birth of Christ. However, what is striking about this hymn is the way in which it unpacks the birth of Christ. It moves from the shadows of the Old Testament into the light of the New Testament with the revelation of God in Christ. This hymn traces the themes of Israel's exodus to the eschatological, or final, exodus that was to begin with the birth of the Messiah. Read more
by Neil Tolsma
Great is the mystery of godliness (1 Tim. 3:16). The first Christians recognized this mystery as being of paramount significance. They were agreed on this truth. But what is "the mystery of godliness"?
Paul defines the mystery of godliness by quoting what many scholars believe is a hymn that the early church sang as it confessed and celebrated this wonderful truth. In remarkable poetry, it describes the mission accomplished by Jesus Christ: Read more
by Patricia E. Clawson
Having a summer or yearlong intern at your church is a costly proposition. But not to have one may be even more costly to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. As baby boomer pastors retire, the need for young men to become undershepherds is increasing. How better to train them than under the oversight of a faithful pastor?
To consider an intern, a session first must be convinced that this ministry would benefit the whole church. Pastor Ron Pearce, of Church of the Covenant in Hackettstown, New Jersey, said, "The financial commitment for an internship is a large sacrifice for our congregation, but we view it as our contribution to home missions and the good of the wider church." Read more