Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Time". The posts will be more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical than instructional. No time management tips planned, but you never know with A to Z.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

I Don't Know How to Love Him (#BOTB)


 "What think ye of Christ?"  excerpted from Matthew 22:42



Birth of Jesus Matthew 2:1
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’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

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?   




60 comments:

  1. I love this song as it's from a musical and I just adore musicals. I think the words are so exceptional especially as religion and politics are two subject most people like to keep to themselves.
    I vote for Mel C although cinead's version is excellent Mel's has that extra something.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, JC Superstar was a revolutionary step in musicals and certainly shaped much that came after it.

      The vote starts with one for Mel C

      Lee

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  2. Hello,
    Both versions are sung beautifully, but the one with Sinead O'Connor is the one that touched my heart. Her deep voice has something within it it that brushes away the dust that settles on our emotions. So I vote for Sinead.
    As to what Jesus means to me, he's my reason for living and my reason for dying. He's the Son of God and through his sacrifice I have been put right with God and I am now clothes in God's righteousness. So for me, when I celebrate Christmas, I am celebrating the birth of my Saviour.
    Happy Fourth Advent.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Pat, it's difficult for me to imagine ever turning away from Christ now that I understand so much about who he is and what he's done. No writer has ever come up with a story as amazing as that of Jesus Christ.

      Second vote for Sinead O'Connor

      Lee

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  3. I do think Jesus existed and the writings portray him as a pretty good guy, but as an atheist I have a whole lot of questions and observations. He was obviously not born in December...it's well known that the early christians usurped all the pagan holidays. And I don't buy the 'virgin birth' thing either.

    The bible was written in an ancient language and translated so many times that I don't believe the stories in it one bit. They are great stories, don't get me wrong, but factual? I doubt it highly. The 'miracles' performed can largely be explained by science. And I know this next statement is going to get me in trouble with believers, but....how many cult leaders have said the same thing, that they are the son of god and have a direct line to god? Jesus was just the first one to do that.

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    1. JoJo, I think all experts would agree about the non-December birth date and the confluence of the pagan holidays with Christian tradition.

      I hope you will continue to research and think on the topic as the story of Christ has some deep and amazing connections with what came earlier and what we've seen up until today. Jesus has often been imitated and emulated by cult leaders, but they missed the point of the story and never managed to achieve in their lives what Jesus did in his.

      As for the translations of the Bible, yes there have been many, but the number supersedes any other so-called holy books and there is a consistency in all the translations throughout history.

      Don't give up thinking about this. There are so many lesser things that can consume us and never bring any true joy in life. Jesus has been called "Light of the World" for good reason.

      I hope your holiday season is wonderful and as always I appreciate your willingness to express your thoughts on my blog. You've been a very good blogging friend over the years and I thank you for sharing your thoughts and tolerating mine.

      Lee

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  4. Lee, I prefer both lyrical versions of this song over the instrumental rendition. I reckon it's just the mood I am in this morning. Mel C has a lovely voice but her cover was a bit safe and it didn't quite seem like her vocals carried the kind of emotions needed to match the words. However, Sinead's less than polished voice not fit the lyrics but her vocal expression connected emotionally with the words making her cover the winner. The Celtic flute was only icing on the cake for me. Please give my vote to Sinead O'Connor. Good battle!

    Now to answer your questions:

    What do you think about Jesus (see above paragraph highlighted in red for more information about this question)? I'm a Christian, so yeah I believe Jesus is a real person but more. He is the son of God, the Savior of the world, King of the Jews, ... The true reason we celebrate Christmas!

    How do you feel about Christmas and the traditions associated with the holiday season? I love Christmas in every aspect from a spiritual stance to
    a worldly point-of-view (Santa, Elves, etc). I have always entwined traditional Christmas religious and non-religious customs in our holiday celebration but I always stressed with our children (and others) the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of our Savior - Jesus Christ. We do gift giving in honor of the Three Kings who gave gifts to the baby Jesus. We always keep our presents simple. It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and then you find yourself chin deep in debt. That's not what Christmas is about. We have a Christmas tree, a Nativity scene, a Christmas village,... I love to decorate, bake, make candy, listen to holiday mewsic, and every thing else that comes with the season. This is one time of the year when everyone not only feels happier but are kinder (generally speaking) and more giving than any other time of the year. Really, we should live like this 365 days instead of one month out the year.

    What do you think about the musical Jesus Christ Superstar? It seems I remember the mewvie took a lot of slack from the Christian community but other than that I don't remember much about the mewsical. I watched it as a young teen when it was on TV and I liked the mewsic.

    Interesting set of questions. I hope everyone who answers them is respectful and kind. Have a very good day and a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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    1. Cathy, I'm always so pleased to read the respect that readers to my blog show to me and others. Especially during the Christmas season that should be all about peace, love, and goodwill toward others.

      We're in trouble if everyone starts forgetting what Christmas is really about. Guess we'd have to change the name of the holiday, but I guess moves have already been attempted to do that.

      Another vote Sinead O'Connor.

      Lee

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  5. To each their own, but I don't believe anything to do with religion. It can comfort many though, so that isn't a bad thing. Not saying Jesus didn't exist, just he used religion to his advantage. People are sheep looking for someone to tend the herd and that someone always steps forth. Humans have always been too busy looking up instead of out. But never know, could be wrong. We'll find out when I croak lol

    Number 2 gets my vote.

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    1. Pat, not sure that Jesus gained any real advantage using religion--he actually suffered a lot challenging the religious leaders of his day and has impacted humankind more than anyone in history. Agreed that people are sheep--unfortunately they often follow after the wrong things.

      I'd suggest you keep an open mind and never totally reject the message of Jesus Christ. I've believed since I was a child and continue to be amazed by new things I learn and that are revealed to my mind. This is one of those cases that you wouldn't want to be wrong about and find out too late.

      Another vote for Sinead O'Connor.

      Lee

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    2. Oh yeah, I always keep an open mind to things, as like I said, I could be wrong. But hey, if murderers can be forgiven by confessing and such, I'm sure my skepticism is fine haha

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  6. A deeply moving song for me (and the same deeply moving notes are found in the violin concerto). Jesus, for me, represents the divine (God) fully present in human form. His message has changed and inspired many from many different paths. I no longer get into theological debates about who he was/is. These are answers we'll all form in our own faith journey. I look for these qualities in relationships too, though imperfect human beings. Does a man inspire me to be a more human, more loving person? I guess, of the two, I'd pick the one by Melanie C. I've heard so many beautiful version of this song. Here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS2nX4fuzqc Thanks, Lee.

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    1. Mary Lou, the theological debates are typically not constructive because I think each side digs in their heels on the ground they stand on. Deciding about Jesus is personal though if someone is truly interested in knowing more, Christians should be armed with the Gospel and be prepared to discuss as much as they can. After that, as you say, each individual has their own journey of discovery and revelation.

      I'm well familiar with the version you directed us to. It is indeed a beautiful version.

      A vote for Mel C

      Lee

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  7. Boy, you don't shy away from the tough ones, do you? Anyone who wants to know how I feel about Jesus, stop into my Sunday Message posts. Nice to see that you have people of all persuasions feeling comfortable to post here. It is too easy to take on the antagonistic manner (God knows I do it too much) and strip away any chance for dialogue.

    Now I am a huge Yvonne Elliman fan, and that will always be my favorite. Melanie C wasn't too bad... Sinaed wasn't bad, not my cuppa though. In a lot of ways, this is one of the best songs involving Jesus, looking at Him divorced from what He is as the Son of God, but as the people with Him had to think.

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    1. CW, I've been getting more bold in my presentation of controversy, but the "worst" is yet to come after the first of the year. I'll be interested to see what responses are to those posts if I don't chicken out.

      I think it is so important to discuss and to exchange opinions and ideas without contention or derision. We learn by conversing with others and exploring different points of view. I have to hold back sometimes as I get tempted to be antagonistic as well, but really it serves no purpose in the end--at least nothing positive.

      There are many wonderful versions of this song that I found. Elliman's version is beautiful, but so are others. I guess that's the mark of a beautiful song.

      I agree that the song offers a good perspective of someone who is trying to figure out who Jesus is and how to accept him into their lives. It has a lovely melodic line as well.

      A somewhat ambiguous vote that I'll call for Mel C.

      Lee

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    2. Yeah, I remembered everything I wanted to say except the "vote for Mel C" part...

      Delete
  8. LEE ~
    I'll begin with the first question and then get to my BOTB vote.

    >>... What do you think about Jesus?

    Prior to April 6th, 1994, I really didn't think much about Jesus at all. I didn't know much about Him and wasn't really interested in knowing more than the little I did.

    But then on that date I had a genuine, and totally unexpected, Spiritual experience in which Jesus literally baptized me using my own tears for the water.

    After that I became intensely interested and began to research what was out there, while beginning to study The Holy Bible for the first time.

    There is so much A-list, E-Ticket well-researched information out there that anyone who is not a believer is not a believer because they choose not to be, NOT because the evidence does not warrant their belief.

    As Josh McDowell says in the pamphlet 'MORE THAN A CARPENTER', The Bible has "more source material than exists for any other book written in antiquity."

    Lee Strobel's 'THE CASE FOR CHRIST' and Chuck Missler's 'LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS' are two books I would recommend to anyone who wishes to begin an investigation into this topic.

    For the really scholarly thinkers who appreciate more scientific studies, 'EVIDENCE FOR FAITH: Deciding The God Question' edited by John Warwick Montgomery is the best publication I've found.

    Or, one can just go to YouTube and begin listening to the sermons of ADRIAN ROGERS. Even a person who is very well-versed in The Bible will learn new things from Rogers who was as entertaining as he was enlightening:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRDw6AAEKTv1hTbjNBWjqfA

    Now for my vote:

    To be honest, I don't really care for anything at all about 'JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR'. In fact, I suspect that perhaps it's purpose, more than any other, was to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of young people. At the very least, I can't see how the play / movie would inspire anyone to investigate the Life of Jesus and seek Him out. That's just my opinion on that.

    Nevertheless, my vote here goes to MELANIE C. She has a much better voice than I'd anticipated and, frankly, O'Connor, in every respect, has never done anything but get on my nerves.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: I probably should mention that I'm an unconventional "Christian". I believe that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah) prophesied to come in The Bible; He is indeed the Atonement for mankind's sins; the Savior of the world and my own personal Savior. But I am NOT a Trinitarian: I believe that Jesus was "the Son of God" but NOT God Himself in the flesh. I also am a firm believer in reincarnation. Which means that according to the majority of Christians, I am no Christian at all. Oh well.

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    1. STMcC, one can never run out of great material for studying Jesus. The Bible alone is all we need, but there are so many great expository studies as you have indicated. Currently in our Sunday morning study at church we are going through the three Strobel Case for... books with a pretty in depth examination. Interesting stuff to think about.

      Studying God, Jesus, and the Bible is a journey that will last a lifetime and never end. That's what's so fascinating. Always something new to find that raises more questions. Faith is indeed a choice and deciding on Jesus is the most important choice a person will ever make.

      A vote for Mel C

      Lee

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  9. Do I believe? Absolutely. Many times it's knowing the love that he has for me that gets me through the day. I've been through some very difficult times, and still going through them. It's what keeps me going.

    I'm casting my vote for Mel C. Her voice just seemed to speak to me a little more.

    Merry Christmas, Arlee

    ~Mary

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    1. Mary, Every time I think about difficult times I'm having, I first think about so many people who are going through far worse than I and realize all the blessings that I have had in my own life and then the difficulties don't seem quite as bad. Then I think about how things will get better, maybe not in the present life, but eventually. And it will all be so much better than we can even imagine. In my view there is never a reason to give up--gotta keep on going.

      Another Mel C vote.

      Lee

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  10. Mel C for me as well, although Helen Reddy's version is my real favorite. Believe in Jesus? After 8 years of Catholic school I should think so. True, some of the stories in the bible (which I am going to try to actually read in 2017) may be embellished, but aren't we commenting about that sort of "reporting of the news" a lot lately? While I have stopped going to church regularly, I still firmly believe that Jesus is watching over us. As for Christmas, I love the lights and presents, but get much more satisfaction from giving than getting. Never saw Jesus Christ Superstar. Thank you, Lee, for holding a place where people can freely give their opinions. You may be doing a bit of God's work for him :)

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    1. Janet, thank you for a wonderfully encouraging comment. In many cases I think studying the Bible on ones own can be more constructive than attending a church, but if you can find a church that is the right one then going regularly to be with other Christ followers can be a very good thing. The more I've studied the Bible, the more I believe just what it says--no "fake news" there in my opinion.

      A vote for Mel C.

      Lee

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  11. Melanie's had a lot more heart.
    Jesus is just as real and alive today as He was the day he was born.

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    1. Alex, and maybe Jesus is even more real in retrospect when we realize what he accomplished and how his legacy has not only endured, but grown.

      Another vote for Mel C.

      Lee

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  12. I definitely believe in Jesus and I think he was in fact a man who walked the earth, who had so much goodness to spread and so many lessons to teach. I believe he was crucified and rose again to become mankind's Savior. If all the world would live the way Jesus taught us to live, the world would be a much better and a more loving place.

    I love Christmas and everything leading up to it. All the decorations and the music and the generous kindness that springs forth during this season. I love all the fun stories of Christmas, like Santa and his reindeer and all the little elves...It's fun and it's magical. But I always remember the reason for the celebration, the birth of Jesus. I love nativity scenes, especially the Live Nativity scenes that play out in churches around the area.

    As for your battle, I liked both versions but I really enjoyed Sinead O'Connor's version best. Please give her my vote.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a superb holiday season, celebrating with friends and family.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, love your answers!

      You have a great season as well!

      A vote for Sinead O'Connor

      Lee

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  13. Hi Lee -

    I am really only going to comment on the battle at this time. Many of your readers are responding to your questions about Jesus Christ, our Savior... the Messiah. I will only say this: yes, he is all of those things.

    As for the battle, I was very surprised at my reaction to this one. I think you may congratulate yourself on it, because I was prepared to vote Mel C. at first blush. I have always considered Sine-Aide O'Connor to be talented... but as annoying as "a continual dropping in a very rainy day."

    However, I thought her version was very rousing and stirring, and I enjoyed it immensely. I would have bet and lost serious money against that! Vote: O'Connor.

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    1. SBB6, your affirmation on the nature of Jesus needs no explanation beyond that which you gave.

      Your reaction to the song versions are similar to my own.

      A vote for Sinead O'Connor.

      Lee

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  14. I liked Mel C. She has a nice timbre to her voice which surprised me.

    I enjoy the Christmas season and the fairy tales associated with Christmas. But when you get down to it, the pagan aspects aren't about the celebration of Christ's birth.

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    1. Ann, I'm sure there was some agenda involved in combining the pagan mythology with religious aspects. And now we're kind of stuck with it.

      A vote for Mel C.

      Lee

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  15. This is the last song I'd imagine Sinead O'Connor singing, but when I heard it, I had to agree with one commenter (on the video, not here): This is Mary Magdalene singing the song. Bless her, Sinead has had a lot of issues, not unlike Mary Magdalene, which I think adds to her performance. Melanie did a beautiful rendition of the song, and I'm certain she's wonderful on the stage, but I'm going with Sinead.

    As to your other questions: One station in Chicago would play the film of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" every Good Friday, and it wasn't Good Friday for me without seeing it. When it first came out, I thought it was good, but it failed to live up to the hype.

    Mary and I have never decorated the house for Christmas; our "children" all have four paws and long tails, and think that Christmas decorations are toys to be played with at all hours of the day and night. We live at least 750 miles from the closest family celebration, so as a rule our celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord is pretty free of the hoopla that accompanies it and is typically a quiet day at home. We have ribs that we put in the oven (they come partially cooked and with the sauce already on them) and various sides that we can put in the microwave (mashed potatoes (Mary's favorite), mac and cheese (my favorite), and an apple-and-cranberry side dish that we both like). Rather than buying gifts for each other, we pick them out for ourselves. Our favorite time of the year is the week between Christmas and New Year's, and we always have pizza rolls on New Year's Eve. Don't ask me why, neither of us can remember.

    Sometimes I think Jesus and I have an understanding... I grew up knowing Jesus as True God and True Man, but what that actually entails keeps me up at night. Like a lot of Catholics, I find it easier to relate with His Mother and the Communion of Saints. The people we've met at Church are a great support to me as well. I see Jesus through them, for lack of a better way to put it.

    Looking forward to the next installment of your series.

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    1. John, you and your wife have established practical holiday traditions that seem to suit you well. Interesting how those things develop. Somewhere along the line my mother started fixing a spaghetti dinner for Christmas eve--not sure how that started, but it eventually stuck.

      Another vote for Sinead O'Connor.

      Lee

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  16. Melanie C delivers a sincere performance, asking that question in hopes of an answer.
    Your post spoken every thought (as far as I can know) and belief I have about Christ Jesus. Saviour! Messiah! The Birth of Christ Jesus turned human history totally around. Without His sacrifice for our salvation, we would still be huddling in our tents, plotting destruction on our neighbor, or we would always be involved in some combat with those around us. Without Christ's birth AND without acceptance of His sacrifice, we could not have moved further in history. Without forgiveness of sins, mankind would continuously trying and wanting to do what is right, but always failing.

    Christmas was fireworks in the sky, with God announcing that His love and promises never stopped.

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    1. Susan, I'd like to think that the spirit of Christ would permeate the world, but for now we have a ways to go.

      A vote for Mel C.

      Lee

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  17. I preferred the Melanie C. version. It felt more emotional to me, possibly because of the arrangement, voice, and instrumentation.

    Though I'm not Christian, I respect Jesus as an important spiritual figure and teacher. We can all learn from other faith traditions. One of my favorite closing lines of a book is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's November 1916, “….You can rarely decide for another that he or she should not do this or that. How can anyone forbid you to love when Christ said that there is nothing higher than love? And he made no exceptions, for love of any kind whatsoever.” I've paraphrased that sentiment a number of times with my Christian characters' dialogue.

    I also really like how so many different cultures have depicted Jesus (and other holy figures) in their own image, like in an Indian headdress or traditional Chinese garb. That makes it easier for the common people to relate to him.

    One of my Soviet-born atheist characters, a little girl, angers some of the overly pious camp counselors at church camp by calling Jesus "Comrade Christ." The priest running the camp, Father Spiridon (one of my favorite secondary characters), rebuts them by saying, “She’s only three, and it’s how she’s been taught to address people. Isn’t Christ supposed to be our ultimate comrade anyway? The word comrade need not have some kind of political or atheist connotation.”

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I've always thought the the truest form of communistic society was that as described in the Book of Acts--not politically, but in the essence of property ownership and helping each other. The real communist countries never achieved anything like that tough.

      A vote for Mel C

      Lee

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  18. Two votes for Sinead from my wife and me...if that's okay.

    We both remember the film of Jesus Christ Superstar and I remember seeing it on the London stage, when Yvonne Elliman was there.

    Our relationship with Jesus is more personal than one of attending a church, but then we are from different upbringings - my wife was a Mormon, while I was raised in the Church of England with values from Quaker ancestors. It means that our spiritual beliefs are a broad collection of beliefs and philosophies.

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    1. Roland, The best relationship we can have with Jesus is personal. The church can be good for fellowship, but it's not for everybody.

      Sure I'll give you both votes especially since Sinead needs them.

      Votes for Sinead O'Connor and Sinead O'Connor.

      Lee

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  19. Sinead has my vote as well. Mel C's just feels too packaged for my taste though her voice is great. Jesus brings to me thoughts of Reverence, Worship and Hope. I'm a true believer and the bible is a historical book to me not just a set of old tales. Respect other thoughts on the topic as well and while Santa is nice and all, I remember the baby in the manger best. Merry Christmas Arlee and God Bless.

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    1. Sheena-kay, The Bible is an amazing book as it lives even today and continues to speak to those who seek what it has to say.

      Merry Christmas to you as well, Sheena-kay.

      Another vote for Sinead O'Connor

      Lee

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  20. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Lee. Sinead all the way! Much better vocals and arrangement, in my opinion. Melanie C was a bit weak. As for your question, I'm not religious, but there's probably some truth to the story of Jesus, the man: A carpenter who became a great prophet and was then crucified by the Romans, thus becoming a martyr and a legendary figure. Most of the non-religious niceties of the season were invented by pagan Germanic people. I guess you could include me in that group. ☺

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    1. Debbie D, I have no doubt that a good many of the Christmas traditions (as well as those of Easter and other times) came from pagan celebrations. I guess it was mostly a matter of people connecting with that which they already had familiarity.

      A vote for Sinead O'Connor

      Lee

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  21. What do you think about Jesus?
    All the world is nothing without Him. A savior, a King, grace incarnate. Praise God!

    How do you feel about Christmas and the traditions associated with the holiday season?
    Like the broken record that I am (ha ha), the materialism and moral decay that pops up at Christmas is distressing...but then, I remember that there's nothing new going on in December that isn't there all year long.

    Perhaps all the non-Christian traditions will lead to a greater understanding of the reason for the season. If not, then I hope the good vibes cause someone, somewhere, to open their heart to others. That will do for now, eh?

    What do you think about the musical Jesus Christ Superstar?
    I love musicals; always have, always will. Most people who have a problem with this are looking at it as if it should be some sort of evangelistic tool. It's not. But it could be a reason for someone to look deeper at the story and I could recommend a GREAT book on the subject; and it's readily available...

    VOTING:
    Great battle, great song. If Yvonne Elliman was a contender, it would be an easy choice (love her version). Usually, Sinead would be my choice but I'm not crazy about her version. Some of the uniqueness of her voice, that I usually love, sorta ruins this tune for me.

    Mel C, I didn't think I'd say it, but you get my vote.

    Merry Christmas, Lee!

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    1. Cherdo, your answers are all excellent. Thank you for weighing in on this topic. I agree about the musical Superstar--I'm sure that more than a few people have had their minds opened up to investigate more about the story and it's not a half bad musical work.

      A vote for Mel C.

      Lee

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  22. I believe Jesus did exist. But that is all I really can say that I believe.

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    1. OE, Thank you for stopping in with at least a part of your belief.

      Lee

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  23. Jesus is the reason for the season.

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  24. First, I like Sinead better...better voice and like the composition better. I believe it has been proven Jesus did exist and he was a very powerful Jewish man who spoke against what was going on in the day. He led many, many people and from there the man grew into a legend. Christmas is truly celebrated as the birth of Christ and all that is supposed to be good, not what man has deemed to be christ's way. We know that, way back when, the pagan festival of Saturnalia was used as Christ's birthday. The symbols of Christmas comes, mostly from Germany and we need to remember mostly what they mean which is not what we are getting but what we are giving. When the commercialism gets to be too much, tune it out, put some nice music on and enjoy the season.

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    1. Birgit, sounds like good advice.

      A vote for Sinead O'Connor

      Lee

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  25. Hi Lee.
    This is a very difficult question to answer at the moment. I personally do not believe in the trinity, I believe that Jesus is the son of God, I believe he is the Messiah and I believe he is sitting at the right hand of God but I believe the Holy Spirit has to do with the thoughts and spiritual ways that are shared by both the Father and the Son and that same spiritual way of looking at life and others has been poured out on those who have asked for that outlook.
    One day I was in a very bad way and wandering about on the rocks looking into the rock pools but not really looking at what was in them. When one is down one tends to look down, not up. Well I was stepping across one particular pool and noticed what I thought was a piece of copper pipe sticking out from under a rock. My immediate thought was "that can't stay in there, it will kill all the life in this rock pool." Copper kills marine life, all of it. If you throw a copper coin into a rock pool and come back a week later it will be empty and all the life that was existing there will have died. I bent down and took what I had thought was copper tubing out but it wasn't copper at all, it was a gold wedding band. Just before I had noticed the copper pipe I had asked this Question, "Lord do you really love me or am I just kidding my self?" I rinsed the dirt off the ring and looked inside to see if there was anyone"s name inside so I could return it to them, There were just the manufacturers stamp and the carats so I couldn't return it to anyone. I thought to myself, "Wow how about that."
    After it was cleaned off and I realized I wouldn't be able to return it I tried to slip it onto my ring finger, too small. I then slipped it onto my pinkie finger and as it went on the following words came into my heart and mind, "I love you like a husband loves his bride."
    Well you can imagine how the tears started flowing. When someone is in such a bad state, as I was, those kinds of words do not fill your thinking, they can only come from somewhere else. So, yes, Jesus is still alive and He is the redeemer, no doubt about it.
    As for the vote, I liked Sinead O'Connor more even though I have never seen the movie Jesus Christ Super Star.
    Enough, this is your blog and time for me to step out of the way. Merry Christmas my friend and may The Lord one day whisper loving words, like the one's he whispered to me, into your heart if he hasn't yet doe so, Geoff.

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    1. Geoff, I'm thinking that one day I might do a post regarding my view of the Trinity, but then again this might not be the appropriate forum for that. After I finish my Trump series maybe I'll touch on that topic.

      God is steadfast in his love for us, but that can include some surprises at times as your story indicates. Thank you for sharing your story.

      A vote for Sinead O'Connor

      Lee

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  26. I love the music from Jesus Christ Super Star. As for who He is/was, I'll leave that to others to answer. I just know that there's a force and strength beyond self, and I try my best to pay attention to it, hoping someday to fully understand.

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    1. Patricia, I think one day we will understand far more than we do now.

      Lee

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  27. Yes, I believe Jesus existed, and he probably did a lot of good works while he lived. There is only The Bible as written testimony of his existence, and his purpose as the savior of man.

    I am not religious (nor do I worship the God consumerism) and I don't see that anything about human existence improved because he walked the earth. In fact if you look at it, all his life did was create wars, oppression, terrorism. I don't believe you have to believe in Jesus or God or any version of religion to be a good person, to live a good life.

    I know, that means when I die I have no chance of heaven if it exists; and will be consigned to burn in hell (if it exists) for all eternity. I can live with that.

    For the battle: I really liked Sinead's version. Nice music.

    Merry Christmas and Happy new year Lee.

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    1. Dolorah, you're not alone in your belief, but sometimes we can change the way we've looked at things in the past.

      A vote for Sinead O'Connor

      Lee

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  28. Lee,

    You've sparked some interesting comments here.

    I listened to these on the 15th on my phone, but it was too hard to comment via the phone keypad, AND I was still uncertain about my vote.

    The Jesus question is easy for me. He is my Savior. Whenever I try to box Jesus in, he punches outside my box. I think it's because he defies pigeon-holing. He's also so much bigger than I can even try to capture here. He showed us how to live. He was the "most" of everything. I can aspire to be like him, but I will never succeed. That's okay. I think the desire is what he wants from us.

    As for your song. I found Mel C's performance lackluster. Sinaed's wasn't beautiful in the traditional sense, but there was a longing to it that at times was almost desperate. In those moments, I can't say it was lovely in the traditional sense, but it captured me in a way that Mel's performance failed. I think I know what that feeling is because I have loved Jesus imperfectly too. It's humbling. It sometimes feels devastating. And those moments aren't pretty.

    Please give my vote to Sinaed O'Conner.

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    1. Robin, I get everything you're saying about Jesus and the music.

      A vote for Sinaed O'Connor

      Lee

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  29. Melanie C gets my vote, I liked her vocals better.

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee