Rejoice! Jesus is King!

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"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:6-7a).
 I can't seem to go very long without reading, watching, or thinking about The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien's works are by far the best fantasy series of all time (let the debate begin!). One of the things I enjoy most about Tolkien's world is the significance of each character and weapon.

For instance, in The Hobbit, Bilbo saves his dwarf companions by killing and driving off many of the spiders who had imprisoned them. After he kills his first spider, Bilbo announces that he shall give his sword the name Sting. Immediately, the other spiders cower in fear as Sting is held high in the air; the enemy knows that Sting is meant for them next.

Magnificat anima mea Dominum

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"And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever'" (Luke 1:46-55).
In Latin, the first line to Mary's song is Magnificat anima mea Dominum - "My soul magnifies the Lord." Throughout Mary's song of rejoicing, she cites many Old Testament references, which is fitting for anyone overcome by the Spirit. In particular, Mary's exaltation is closely related to the song of Hannah found in 1 Samuel 2:1-10.

Falling Asleep

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"For David says concerning him,
‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses" (Acts 2:25-32).
"And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' And when he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60).
When God created the world and everything in it from nothing, he saw all that he had made and declared it to be "very good" (Gen 1:31). All creation was working as it should; new life had just been created everywhere and there was no logical reason or rational possibility that any of it should ever perish.

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