The Huron Carol (Jesous Ahatonhia)

Want to sing along?

Huron Carol Lyrics

Dm Am Dm
Twas in the moon of winter-time When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou, Sent angel choirs instead;
G Dm
Before their light the stars grew dim,
Am Dm
And wandering hunters heard the hymn:
F G Dm F G Dm
“Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.”

Within a lodge of broken bark, The tender Babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin, Enwrapp’d His beauty round;
But as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high…
“Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.”

The earliest moon of wintertime, Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory, On the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free, O sons of Manitou,
The Holy Child of earth and heaven Is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.
“Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.”

I love how the Christmas story is framed in a Native American way in this song, don’t you? I love how the translator retained a Native word for God – Manitou – which literally means “Great Spirit” in the Algonquian language. Manitowoc, where we used to live, means “Home of the Great Spirit”.

Enjoy our brand new version of Canada’s oldest Christmas song, “The Huron Carol” (Jesous Ahatonhia), along with a couple of other Christmas songs in this little Concert we put on just for you:

A Youtube Christmas Concert Just for You (Click Me)

My favorite lines in the featured song are:

“O children of the forest free, O sons of Manitou,
The Holy Child of earth and heaven Is born today for you”

I love being a free son of the Great Spirit!

“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

So, as a free son of the Great Spirit, what will we do with our freedom?

I’ll tell you what Jean Brebeuf, the man who wrote the Huron Carol, did with his freedom. He gave his life (literally) to serve the Wendat (Huron) people. Imagine devoting your life serving people who were often suspicious of, and sometimes even hated you, who rarely loved or celebrated you.

Was their suspicion for good reason? How much do we know of how Jean loved and “manifested” the character of Christ? I hope he truly knew and loved Jesus and represent him well?

No one can know for certain I suppose and yet, Jean faithfully stuck with the Wendat and served them best he knew how. He believed so much in the Lord and his mission that in 1649, even after being warned that an Iroquois raiding party was on their way to kill all the inhabitants of his village, he stayed on to help those who chose not to flee for their lives. Instead he was captured and, while being tortured to his death by the Iroqouis, he encouraged his fellow missionaries to consider the eternal glory that awaited them just beyond the pain of the moment. Wow!

What are you going to do with your freedom?

Song Story and History:

The Jesuit missionary, Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649), is the most likely candidate to have written this song. He lived and worked among the Hurons for 22 years putting their language into written form and trying to “win converts”.

After learning what I had in my research it was hard not to judge the man. I realize that perhaps he did the very best of his ability and knowledge but how can anyone honestly believe that sprinkling someones head and making the sign of the cross over a Native actually did anything to convey the wonderful news and glories of Jesus in someone’s life? Or effect any change in their heart? And why would a Native convert have to adopt a European “Christian” name? This is ridiculous and shameful.

From the documentary (below) Brebeuf confessed that he was making no headway with the Wendat. “That is not our custom”, they would tell him. The one convert he did make was because the man recovered from the smallpox that the missionaries brought with them. The one healed considered it a miracle and that these missionaries God must be more powerful because they remained unaffected by the plague. Once “baptized” he was given a Christian name of Joseph. To be honest, this ticked me off.

Sorry, I couldn’t just whitewash this man’s story and I have to be true to what I have found in my research and also in the documentary video below. This goes to show you that people who write the history books have the power to sway public opinion or make a saint or a villain of anyone.

I found the following from an internet search:

In 1649 an Iroquois war party invaded Huronia, killing or driving out all the Hurons, and destroying the missions. Refusing to leave their people at St. Joseph, Brébeuf and Lalement were captured and killed at the stake after enduring many hours of savage torture.

Some of the Hurons escaped to Lorette, near Quebec City, and there their descendants live to this day. They did not forget Father Brébeuf’s carol, and about 1750 another Jesuit, Father de Villeneuve, heard them singing it and wrote it down. Then it was translated into French under the title “Jesus est né” and it is still sung in that form in Quebec. In 1926, a Canadian poet, J. E. Middleton, wrote the English words, which have become widely known. (From the liner notes of ([Mills-A 1960])

Here is the fascinating documentary of the man Jean Brebeuf:

And here is another hauntingly beautiful version of this song:

Want to try singing the original words in the Wyandot (Huron) language?

Ehstehn yayau deh tsaun we yisus ahattonnia
O na wateh wado:kwi nonnwa ‘ndasqua entai
ehnau sherskwa trivota nonnwa ‘ndi yaun rashata
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia.

Ayoki onki hm-ashe eran yayeh raunnaun
yauntaun kanntatya hm-deh ‘ndyaun sehnsatoa ronnyaun
Waria hnawakweh tond Yosehf sataunn haronnyaun
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia.

Asheh kaunnta horraskwa deh ha tirri gwames
Tishyaun ayau ha’ndeh ta aun hwa ashya a ha trreh
aundata:kwa Tishyaun yayaun yaun n-dehta
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia.

Dau yishyeh sta atyaun errdautau ‘ndi Yisus
avwa tateh dn-deh Tishyaun stanshi teya wennyau
aha yaunna torrehntehn yataun katsyaun skehnn
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia.

Eyeh kwata tehnaunnte aheh kwashyehn ayehn
kiyeh kwanaun aukwayaun dehtsaun we ‘ndeh adeh
tarrya diskwann aunkwe yishyehr eya ke naun sta
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia.

 

Read more: http://diversitytree.blogspot.com/2011/12/huron-carol-racist.html

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O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Born Again?

Here is my arrangement of the Christmas song, O Little Town of Bethlehem:

“O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today”

Those lyrics of the song remind me of what Jesus had to say about being born again. Ever wonder what it means to be born again?

John doesn’t start his Gospel talking about Christ’s birth like some of the others, but begins by talking about someone else’s birth.

Yours. And mine.

Right there in the first chapter he is talking about you and me:

“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

The good news is that if you have believed and accepted Jesus, you have been born again. God has seen to it. It is done.

That’s great news for a lot of fearful souls who doubt their salvation because they aren’t currently living out the truth of the new life they’ve already been given. Thank God that our salvation is based not on our performance but on the performance of Jesus on our behalf (and “as us”).

what is born again?Jesus continues on this theme a couple of chapters later in a conversation with Nicodemus. Here is some of that convo (By sheer “coincidence” I happen to be listening to that same convo from the Gospel of John movie right now! The movie was playing in the background):

“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” John 3 NLT

More Good News!

You will begin to live out the new life you have been given when you give up believing all the enemies lies and begin again to believe the Gospel (the Good News) that you are God’s child and God’s children don’t make a practice of sinning:

“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.” 1 John 3:9 NLT

So I’m sure that many of you reading this want to become a child of God. You recognize that you need to be born again and are asking, “How can I be born again? I want in.” Yes, I would too.

Believe and accept Jesus as your Savior. Talk to God about it. Tell him that you want to know him (knowing him is the very definition of eternal life! See John 17:3) Read the Gospel of John to grow in your understanding and relationship with Jesus. Or watch this amazing film of the Gospel of John brought to life. This is Amazing:

If you have believed and accepted Jesus, then God’s Spirit has already begun the work.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT

Isn’t that amazing?

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG

So what is the work he has for you to do? Ask him about it. He will lead you into His perfect plan for you.

Here is an article where you can learn more about being “Born Again”!

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Center of the Angels Songs

“…Lamb of God, Savior to all…”

This song is all about the names of Jesus. There is most always something very significant about names in Scripture. John (whose name means “grace”) introduces Jesus (whose name means “I AM Salvation”) as, “the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

The first, and arguably the most important of the Jewish feasts, was Passover. Historically, Passover marked the anniversary of when God’s chosen people were protected from the angel of death. This death angel was sent as God’s final plague against all the firstborn of Egypt before Israel was freed from their brutal slavery. He “passed over” those homes that applied the blood of a lamb to the doorposts of the house as instructed by the LORD. The lamb was then eaten by the family along with unleavened bread.

Israel was told to commemorate this day year after year. Every year each family would bring a spotless lamb to the priest in Jerusalem and the head of the family would place their hands on the lamb. The sins of the family would pass to the lamb and the lambs innocence (righteousness) would pass to the worshipper. A wonderful exchange happened. The lamb was then slaughtered for those sins. By doing this they were tangibly expressing their faith and so receiving God’s forgiveness for that year.

lamb of godEnter Jesus. “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” When Jesus went on that cross it was as if the whole world, every human who ever existed, was placing their hands on Jesus transferring all our sins to him. He became guilty of all our evil thoughts and words and deeds. The Lamb of God was then slaughtered for our sins.

But it doesn’t just stop there. To all who are willing to receive God’s gift of righteousness, all believers in Jesus, actually become as righteous as Jesus! Because of Jesus we stand holy and blameless and pure in the presence of our holy Papa God. Amazing!

“…how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” Romans 5:17 NIV

But sadly, all too often people insist on standing in their own righteousness instead of receiving this gift. I know I did. For years I tried to earn grace, to win God’s approval by my own efforts. My ego wasn’t invited to the grace party and I would not stand for that. And so I did as the Scripture says many religious people do. I did not submit to the righteousness of God but tried to establish my own.

Paul writes about his fellow Jews who stumbled over this point:

“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.” Romans 10:1-4 NLT

I have experienced what it is like to live dependent on my own righteousness. A severe depression plagued me for seven years before God released me and brought me back to simply trusting Jesus. God has taught me about Grace and the righteousness we receive by faith (by simply believing). Now I am blessed beyond words, even though I am far… I was about to say “far from perfect”, but how can this be when I possess the perfection of Jesus and am the Father’s Beloved? Is it really true or not? Does our faltering experience dictate truth or does the Living God? This is the conundrum and scandal of grace. I am reminded of a proverb, “The righteous falls seven times but gets back up again.”

Have you applied the blood of Jesus to the doorpost of your life? Do you trust Jesus and him alone, the One who is salvation, to be your savior?

“Jesus, Thank you for taking our sins upon yourself at that cross. Thanks you for the gift of righteousness and abundance of grace you extend to us. We receive it and believe it. We thank you that we stand in the Father God’s Presence forgiven, cleansed, and spotless ALL because of Jesus. We don’t rely on our own efforts or performance any more but submit our pride, our ego, before your cross and we come to you.”

Sing Along!

LYRICS:

Center of the Angels Songs

Wonderful, Counselor,
Almighty God, Prince of Peace
Son of man, Son of God,
Word of Life, We fall to our knees…
Declaring you are the…

CHORUS:

Center of the angels songs,
From age to age your praise,
Rings throughout the heavens and earth

Lamb of God, Savior to all
Humble King, Emmanuel
Morning Star, Light of the world,
Eternal One, Shine on us now!
For You are the…

CHORUS:

Center of the angels songs,
From age to age your praise,
Rings throughout the heavens and earth

Wonderful, Counselor,
Almighty God, Prince of Peace

Words and music © 2008 Daniel and Catherine Lovett, Reflect Worship Music

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Center of the Angels Songs – about this free song

About this free song download:

Catherine and I chose Center of the Angels Songs as one of our free downloads because it is such a beautiful reflection on who Jesus is. Jesus is the perfect representation of all that God is. Why?  Because Jesus is, in fact, God in the flesh.

Isaiah 9:6 prophecies about the coming Messiah, Jesus, and gives us some of his royal titles:

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First and Only Snow, a Christmas Poem

First and Only Snow (a Christmas Poem)

It was the first and only snow
That I had seen all year,
I thought perhaps it was a sign,
To mark the Saviors birth.

I was shepherding in fields that night,
Or rather hills of Bethlehem,
Gathered with some friends of mine,
And suddenly just then –

Angels from the Lord of hosts
Hovered in the air,
Declaring, “Peace on earth to men,
Goodwill and do not fear!”

“The Savior has been born this night,
so be now of good cheer!
You’ll find him lying in a manger,
not too far from here!”

Just as suddenly as they had come,
They vanished from our sight,
And despite the words the angel spoke,
We were in a fright!

All except one little boy,
Who said, “Let’s go and see!”
And soon we all were on our way,
Singing merrily.

When we finally found the place,
We were overcome with awe,
We knelt and kissed the Saviors head,
And held him one and all.

The little boy who said “let’s go”
Played then on his drum,
He danced around the stable then,
Having so much fun.

We all laughed and clapped along,
And then we sang with joy.
At the birth of God’s own son,
This precious baby boy!

(Christmas poem by Daniel Lovett 2008)

About this poem:

I wrote this a couple of years ago while sitting at La Java coffee shop in Green Bay, WI. I was looking for more material to share at my Christmas concerts and thought, why not create some? Israel is about the same latitude as Texas and doesn’t get a whole lot of snow, if any, especially as far South as Bethlehem (hence the title). This poem is written from the perspective of one of the shepherds on that first Christmas.  Hope you enjoyed it! Share it with someone this Christmas! Sharing is Caring.

Thanks for listening,

Daniel Lovett

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Twelve Baby Days of Christmas

An original version of a Christmas classic, featuring our beautiful daughter Ellie.

We thought it would be fun to rewrite the 12 days of Christmas to be all things baby related. We recorded the song, put together a slide show of Ellie and sent it off to our parents last year for Christmas. After watching it, my mom immediately booked a flight to come see her new granddaughter for herself. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this video please share it on facebook or twitter,

Merry Christmas!

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