"What think ye of Christ?" excerpted from Matthew 22:42
|Birth of Jesus Matthew 2:1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Who Do You Think Jesus Christ Is?
During this holiday season many thoughts turn to Jesus. Some might not know exactly why Jesus should be celebrated, but most know that Christmas is traditionally a celebration of Jesus Christ. In the hubbub and clutter of this time those Jesus thoughts might be fleeting, obscured by shopping for presents, holiday celebrations, and jolly old Santa Claus. Jesus becomes a bit of an afterthought for most people.
It can be easy to put baby Jesus in the corner. The birth of Christ was something that happened a long time ago and for many it's just a story, a myth told at Christmas time. Flying reindeer, dancing snowmen, and elves who make toys might seem more real than some guy who came to save the world. Besides, with Santa Claus coming to town who really wants to be bummed out by a baby who would later grow up to suffer death on a cross? Santa coming to town sounds happy and exciting, but a return of Jesus Christ might seem a bit more ominous.
For centuries Jesus Christ has inspired great art, literature, and music. He has been debated, worshiped, and denigrated by multitudes of pundits, philosophers, historians, and naysayers. Still millions might wonder who this Jesus is and what they should think about him. And yet we celebrate Christmas day which is dedicated to him. Why?
Consider these lyrics from the song "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from the popular musical Jesus Christ Superstar:
If he said he loved me
I'd be lost
I'd be frightened
I couldn't cope
Just couldn't cope
I'd turn my head
I'd back away
I wouldn't want to know
He scares me so
I want him so
I... Love... Him.... So
How do you feel about Jesus? Do you think he was a person who actually existed? Is he what some people claim he is--a Messiah and a savior of humankind? Or was he merely a nice guy and maybe a great prophet? Is he a storybook character or a perplexing historical figure? What feelings does the concept of Jesus Christ evoke within you? Hope? Joy? Reverence? Amusement? Fear? Anger? Hatred? Some other emotion or opinion? Feel free to express yourself honestly in the comment section--I will respect your opinion and would expect others to do the same.
Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th. The premise is simple: Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it. Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.
"I Don't Know How To Love Him"
The song for this round of Battle is "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. In the musical this song is sung by the character Mary Magdalene as she reflects on her feelings for Jesus. There have been numerous versions of this song recorded by a wide range of artists including what is probably the most well known version by Helen Reddy. (click the link if curious, but please don't vote on this version)
Andrew Lloyd Webber has been accused of plagiarism in some of the melodies he has composed and this is among those songs. However, the similarities between the Andante movement of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor and the song might arguably be more attributed as an adaptation of a melody more than an outright plagiarism. I offer a shortened version of the classical piece as arranged for French horn. You can listen and make your own judgement if you wish, but please don't vote on this clip.
Here are the versions for your voting considerations:
Melanie C "I Don't Know How To Love Him" (2012)
Some might remember Mel C as "Sporty Spice" from the hugely successful pop group The Spice Girls who topped the charts selling millions of albums in the 1990's. After her stint with the group, Mel C continued with a successful career as a solo artist. From 2012 to 2013 she played the role of Mary Magdalene in a UK production of Jesus Christ Superstar. The version I offer here comes from a live performance for a QVC Shopping Network Christmas special.
Sinead O'Connor "I Don't Know How to Love Him" (2006)
Maybe she's not the most popular artist around, but she does have her loyal fans. In this live performance, O'Connor and crew put a unique Irish touch to the song.
Time To Vote!
Which of these two song versions do you like best? Do you prefer Mel C's more traditional take or the Celtic touch given by O'Connor?
Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.
Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
'Curious as a Cathy'
Sound of One Hand Typing
The Doglady's Den
Cherdo on the Flipside
Jingle, Jangle, Jungle
J. A. Scott
Winner Announced on Wednesday December 21st
My posts will be light in the next couple weeks. I'll have a post to announce the winner of this Battle on Wednesday December 21st. My next post in the President Trump Acclimation Series will appear on Monday December 26th when I'll present my case rebutting accusations against Donald Trump regarding sexism. My next Battle of the Bands post--the first of 2017--will appear on January 1st.
What do you think about Jesus (see above paragraph highlighted in red for more information about this question)? How do you feel about Christmas and the traditions associated with the holiday season? What do you think about the musical Jesus Christ Superstar?