The World and Everything in It: December 1, 2023
On Culture Friday, John Stonestreet says Pope Francis punches right and coddles left, The Shift by Angel Studios puts a sci-fi spin on the story of Job, and Ask the Editor for December. Plus, the Music of Advent and the Friday morning news
PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is brought to you by listeners like me. Hi, I'm Anginette Piland, and I listen with our toddler who has been listening with me since he was in the womb. I married Jacob, a church planning pastor in Kent, Ohio. I hope you enjoy today's program. Say bye bye, bye, bye bye.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning! Today on Culture Friday: the Pope is getting aggressive with his critics, Anne Frank is getting canceled, and more.
NICK EICHER, HOST: John Stonestreet will join us for Culture Friday. Also today, the story of Job reimagined as a Christian sci-fi movie.
AUDIO: For every choice you make there are countless other realities where you make a different choice.
Also, Ask the Editor for December. And the music of Advent.
BROWN: It’s Friday, December 1st. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
BROWN: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Gaza latest » Israel released another group of Palestinian prisoners just hours ago after Hamas freed additional Israeli captives on the eighth day of the temporary cease-fire.
Israel agreed to hold its fire as long as Hamas continued to release hostages. And U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says,
GRAHAM: This is sort of a strategy by Hamas to drag it out. The Americans, I hope and pray they all get out, but they’ll be the last to go. And as every day drags on, there’s mounting pressure on Israel to restrict their military operations.
The Biden administration is now ramping up public pressure on leaders in Tel Aviv … to do more to restrict civilian casualties in Gaza. Israel pledged that whenever the cease-fire ended, its military would finish the job and eradicate Hamas.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the U.S. supports that mission, but
BLINKEN: Israel has the most — one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world. It is capable of neutralizing the threat posed by Hamas while minimizing harm to innocent men, women, and children. And it has an obligation to do so.
He said that means, in part, clearly designating locations in southern and central gaza where civilians “can be safe and out of the line of fire.”
DeSantis-Newsom debate » Two White House hopefuls faced off in a debate last night on Fox News, but not a presidential debate.
HANNITY: Let me start by introducing both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Newsom is not currently running for president, but his interest in the office is an open secret.
The showdown between two of the nation’s most prolific governors was a clash of two very different leadership philosophies
Or as Gov. Newsom put it, “night and day” different.
NEWSOM: You want to roll back hard-earned national rights — on voting rights, on civil rights, on LGBTQ rights, on women’s rights...
DeSantis hit Newsom on California’s taxes, gas prices and more.
DESANTIS: We have a 50-year low in the crime rate. In the last 10 years, we’ve had a 45 percent decline in homelessness. California’s had a 45 percent increase in homelessness. We back the blue.
For DeSantis, the debate was a chance to tout his conservative policy record off the crowded GOP stage. And many analysts believe Newsom is positioning himself as his party’s fallback option should President Biden end his reelection campaign for any reason.
Social-media censorship » Lawmakers are digging into alleged efforts by government officials to censor free speech and silence some Americans on social media.
GOP Congressman Jim Jordan chairs the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
JORDAN: One of the most egregious forms of the weaponization that this subcommittee has worked to expose is the coercion of social media companies by the federal government.
Lawmakers heard testimony from three journalists Thursday including Michael Shellenberger:
SHELLENBERGER: The scope, power, and lawbreaking of the censorship industrial complex are even worse than we had realized back in March.
Shellenberger co-authored the so-called Twitter files last year. He described leaked internal documents seeming to show that government officials pushed the company to target alleged misinformation.
Republicans claimed to have new evidence that the Biden administration pressured Google to censor Americans on YouTube though some Democratic lawmakers disputed that.
Fauci to testify on COVID response » And House lawmakers are set to hear from Anthony Fauci about the origins of COVID-19 and the government’s response to it. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER: A panel of lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee will grill Fauci early next month.
During the pandemic, he was the government’s highest-ranking infectious disease expert and served as chief medical adviser to President Biden.
Members of the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic plan to press Fauci on what he knew about so-called gain-of-function research at a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Such research can make viruses more potent for the purpose of laboratory studies.
The FBI believes COVID-19 escaped from the Wuhan lab.
Lawmakers also want to question Fauci about any role he may have played in trying to discredit the lab leak theory regarding its origin.
For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
Trump gag order » An appeals court in New York says a gag order on former President Donald Trump is back in place.
The decision reinstates a directive that barred Trump from commenting about courtroom staff in a civil fraud trial against his family business. The initial gag order came after Trump criticized a law clerk in the case.
An appeals court had previously suspended the order while Trump’s appeal against it played out.
States: Foster rule would violate rights » Nearly twenty states are fighting the Biden administration on a new proposed foster system rule they say would violate the First Amendment rights of Christians. WORLD’s Christina Grube reports.
CHRISTINA GRUBE: The administration has proposed a new rule that would force foster parents to address children by their self-chosen name and pronouns and to let them dress according to their self-identified genders.
Foster parents who don’t comply would be considered unsafe placements.
Attorneys general from 19 states drafted an open letter to the Department of Health and Human Services this week saying the rule would discriminate against Christian homes and ultimately harm children in the foster care system.
The coalition also noted a 2021 Supreme Court decision barring the government from discriminating against foster parents for their beliefs on gender.
For WORLD, I’m Christina Grube.
I'm Kent Covington.
Straight ahead: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. Plus, Angel Studios’ movie The Shift.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday the 1st of December, 2023.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Just a big word of thanks if you were one of the record-breaking number of new donors who became WORLD Movers for the very first time. Thank you so much.
BROWN: Calling what you did “record-breaking” is really inadequate. Listen to this: we had almost double the number of new WORLD Movers this year over last. We’ve never seen anything like that. That kind of growth is extraordinary and we’re humbled by it. We’re so grateful.
EICHER: And I want you to know that this very weekend, we’ve pulled in about a dozen of our WORLD people for some professional development. That will be a part of rolling out for you, we hope sometime in the first quarter of the new year—certainly by early second quarter—an all-new weekend edition of The World and Everything in It.
We’re going to take the efforts that go into making our standalone podcasts, the things you’ve enjoyed but only occasionally, like Legal Docket, Effective Compassion, Lawless, Listening In, Doubletake, Truth Be Told.
And we’ll present that kind of long-form journalistic storytelling, combine that with good interviewing of great guests, add in some inventive new features, and give you some good listening for your weekends, a [big] weekend edition of The World and Everything in It every weekend, and it’s your support that will help to make that happen.
BROWN: So we’re very encouraged by the new-donor response. We’re hopeful about the December Giving Drive that’s coming up, and we’re busy creating, building on the week-day success of The World and Everything in It.
We will keep you posted!
For now, though, it’s Culture Friday.
Joining us now is John Stonestreet, the president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint Podcast. John, good morning.
JOHN STONESTREET: Good morning.
EICHER: Maybe it’s inside-baseball around the Roman Catholic Church, but important, I think: the story this week that one of the conservative cardinals in the church, Cardinal Raymond Burke, was kicked out of the church hierarchy, and the Pope made Burke pack his things and move out of his Vatican apartment. And this followed the forcible removal of another troublesome priest, the bishop in Texas, Joseph Strickland.
Now, some may say that the pope isn’t completely one-sided, that he’s told the German bishops who are the most liberal pushing for an array of pro-LGBTQ changes that the pope told them to pipe down, and church teaching would not change.
But as one of my favorite Catholic writers, Ross Douthat in The New York Times, noted a few days ago, you can’t help but notice the difference in the punishments. Quoting him here: “Both sides will note, for instance, that criticizing the pope earns you a sacking, but seeming doctrinal disobedience merits only a sternly worded letter.”
How do you read these moves by the pope?
STONESTREET: Well, like you, I think Douthat's probably got a pretty strong read on it because that's really what it seems. I mean, from the very beginning, this pope has become more and more and more like a kind of a center, center left evangelical in their approach to the various sides, you punch right and you coddle left. And that's what this pope has done more and more and more. Just like, you know, mainstream evangelical publishers do. You know, I get four or five manuscripts of kind of edgy, maybe Christian should rethink the Second Amendment or even the first amendment for every single conservative take on those same topics I get.
The same thing has to do with evangelical institutions and pro-LGBTQ things, you know, if you voted for the wrong guy in 2016, or 2020, I mean, this is a real reason for some to doubt your loyalty to Christ and, and proclaim that you're doing “real damage” to the evangelical church and yet you turn around and becoming fully affirming or becoming so confusing you might as well be affirming, like many evangelical voices has. I think this is something that Rosaria Butterfield has been speaking up about an awful lot lately.
And you know, I guess, to me, it's just so interesting to see these two things almost mirror each other: the evangelical milieu where again, you punch right hard and you coddle left. And this is something I think Carl Truman actually wrote about just last week in World Opinions, same sort of thing. And you're seeing it then in this top-down, power, heavy hierarchical body. And it really then underscores the importance of doctrine, at the basis of what we think is legitimate Christianity, and whether we actually think ideas and coming up with the wrong ideas, and being loyal and allegiant to the wrong ideas is as dangerous or more dangerous than misbehaving. And it does seem to me to be plainly obvious, and it seems to be a problem that is inflicting all the major historical expressions of Christianity right now.
BROWN: John, I’m going to steal a phrase from one of your latest Breakpoint articles “Cancel culture comes for Anne Frank.” You know the story. Let me paint the picture for our listener.
Parents of a German daycare center named after Anne Frank proposed a name change, because they said it was too difficult to explain the significance of Frank to their children. The school director agreed, saying it was better to choose a name without political background.
Essentially, they wanted to edit history to fit their comfort level.
I started thinking about this John, and in the back of my head I could hear a proponent of critical race theory asking this question: How are those parents in Germany any different from parents in this country who oppose critical race theory?
In other words, CRT proponents argue the conservative right is trying to prevent such curriculum from being taught in schools because CRT is the ugly truth of American history, a history that includes slavery.
So, what’s the difference?
STONESTREET: You know, I think it's a legitimate question, actually. And I think for some, there wouldn't be a difference. It would be trying to whitewash the history that you don't like on one side, versus whitewashing the history you don't like on the other side. And I think for some, the conversations have, I think, revealed that we're not thinking honestly about issues of race. And that's why for a long time, I've really tried to push, look, the racial history of the United States is one that actually needs to be taught. But CRT should not be in schools for two reasons. Number one, it's the wrong way of talking about race. It just is. And it actually introduces categories of morality and categories of human identity that are fundamentally wrong and even fundamentally dangerous.
And it also then actually misrepresents history, only in another way. And when parents legitimately complain about CRT, that's what they're complaining about and they're right to do so. I think though, and we've had some voices basically say if you hear any of these kind of phrases, that's what CRT is. And sometimes that's true. And sometimes that's not, and some people are basically opposing any conversation about race at all, in education. And that's not helpful, nor is it biblical, nor is it true. And we got to deal with the fact that there is a history of racism in the world. It takes the form of being preferential to some groups of people over and above others, instead of seeing the value of each and every individual person as made in the image of God and inherently valuable. And ironically, that's the mistake that CRT makes, as well as seeing people as groups of people, and therefore not as good as other people.
You know, in the case of the German daycare center story, that was just weird. In a context right now of, you know, kind of rampant anti-semitism, with the whole history of Anne Frank, and the need to just be really clear on who the Nazis were, and so on. And look, it was a daycare center. So we're talking about really little kids, I'm not sure how many conversational crises you kind of you know, have around the dinner table with four-year-olds, you know about this. So it was basically an attempt to just get rid of the problem altogether, when there was a real opportunity to hold up who Anne Frank was in a really simple way that young kids could understand. And that's a way to advance learning.
So education should not be moderated by comfort level, that should fundamentally not be the way we approach it. And so, you know, you're, I think that's why the question you asked is a legitimate one, that that's the basis upon which we're deciding what we teach and what topics we cover and what names we use and what statues we removed, then that's the absolute wrong approach, because you got to be age appropriate. You can do that I think in really meaningful ways. And getting at the truth, and helping kids get to the truth is what education is all about.
BROWN: And we should add, we should say that public backlash was strong and so the trustees of that particular school decided to reverse the action.
STONESTREET: Yeah, that's right, it was and we can be thankful for that, that a lot of other people kind of came around and kind of spoke some sanity, you know, into that situation in Germany.
EICHER: John, you’ve talked before about deaths from despair, this terrible trend, and here’s a development: new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, government numbers, WORLD reporting this week:
Nearly 50,000 people in the United States died by suicide last year. The CDC published its report on Wednesday. Year-on-year, it’s a rise of three percent. But it marks the highest number ever recorded in a single year, going back to at least 1941. Men were about four times more likely than women to take their own lives. And the only bright spot in the grim report: suicide rates dropped for children and young adults between 10 and 24.
But you know it’s serious when the government has made available a three-digit hotline 988 for people who are in crisis. A good development, but bad news that it’s necessary.
So John, in the past we’ve sort of attributed the spike possibly to isolation due to Covid, but this is 2022. It’s not Covid.
STONESTREET: No, I think it's in the wake of it, I think it's in the wake of the things that were worsened. But these trend lines started before COVID, and they got worse after COVID. And so what we're talking about here is a crisis of meaning, a crisis of trust, a crisis of identity, and a crisis of connection. And these are inevitable crises when we disconnect people into radical individuals. And we tell them that they have to construct their own meaning, they have to actually impose their own identity on the rest of the world, they have to get everybody else to agree with it. We've put a level of pressure, especially on young people's heads, and the other group too, that are failing this, and the numbers are really bad, are middle aged and upper middle aged men. And between the two of these things, clearly money's not the problem. And money is not the answer. It is this catastrophic loss of meaning of trust, of connection, and of identity. And I think at the root of that we left people with their feet firmly planted in midair. And eventually, the question of why not, why shouldn't I do this, becomes unanswerable for them.
It's an epidemic, the World Health Organization just launched a task force as well to combat loneliness as a global health epidemic. I don't believe almost anything they say. But they're right on identifying that there's a crisis here. Which of course, is ironic, because we're more connected in so many ways than ever before. When we're connected globally, we're more connected through technology and through relationships. And we're more in touch with people on social media platforms than ever before, and we're more lonely.
So look, there's just a bunch of irony that kind of emerges at the level of the ultimate questions. Who am I? Why am I here? what's right and wrong. When you pull God out of the picture, you untether people and so people are free floating, and then you're like, you know, be yourself and what does that even mean? The compass doesn't apply if your feet aren’t on the ground, and I think it's going to get worse before it gets better. This is a trend line – it predates COVID and it's gotten worse since.
BROWN: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast. Thanks, John!
STONESTREET: Thank you both!
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, December 1st. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
Coming up on The World and Everything in It: a new faith-based movie arrives in theaters this weekend.
This year has seen a resurgence in the faith-based movie genre. You’re seeing higher production values and higher profits.
But not all faith-based movies are necessarily faithful movies. And in that vein, arts and culture editor Collin Garbarino brings us a review of The Shift.
THE BENEFACTOR: Imagine having the power to move people from one reality to the next.
COLLIN GARBARINO: Angel Studios, the company that makes The Chosen TV series, has a new faith-based movie hitting theaters this weekend. The Shift is a sci-fi thriller inspired by the Biblical story of Job. That’s not what you were expecting, was it? Yeah, me neither… which is why I was interested to check it out.
THE BENEFACTOR: For every choice you make there are countless other realities where you make a different choice. Choice breeds infinite possibilities. Choice breeds realities.
The Shift is a multiverse movie. An infinite number of realities exist side by side, but the narrative follows just one guy named Kevin, who’s down on his luck. At least until he meets Molly.
KEVIN: What was the dare?
MOLLY: To talk to you. Find out what your deal is. And get you interested so you ask me out.
Molly and Kevin hit it off, and immediately start imagining what life together would be like. First date, fifth date, church life. A family.
MOLLY: And then there’s the bad thing that happens.
KEVIN: Hold on, wait up. What is “the bad thing”?
MOLLY: I have no idea, but it will happen.
Every movie needs conflict—so yeah—the bad thing happens.
SOUND: [Squealing tires and crash]
But it’s not just one bad thing. Kevin loses everything he’s ever held dear when a mysterious man who calls himself “The Benefactor” shifts Kevin into a different reality.
THE BENEFACTOR: I’m here to help you. You OK?
We know right away that the Benefactor isn’t looking to help anyone but himself. He’s an agent of chaos who represents Satan. He’s stolen away the good things in Kevin’s life, but he offers to replace them with worldly power… if only Kevin will work for him.
THE BENEFACTOR: Let me lift you out of that embarrassing farce you call life and give you something glorious. Just say the word.
Kevin refuses, and he begins his quest to find his way out of this hell he’s been shifted into… and find his way back to Molly.
THE BENEFACTOR: You’re a halfway decent guy, but it’s the other half that I’m particularly fond of.
The Shift is a visually intriguing movie. It has a gritty Blade Runner aesthetic, and the Benefactor’s henchmen march around in eerie face-less helmets. The lighting effects and cinematography are excellent. I especially loved one relatively long shot in which the camera follows a waitress around a cafe before resting on Kevin and the Benefactor. It was a beautiful bit of camera work, and that attention to detail impressed me.
THE BENEFACTOR: Small deviations work best, but this was a big shift. Big shifts take people out of the game.
The actors gave solid performances. Kevin is played by Kristoffer Polaha—the star of numerous Hallmark Christmas movies. Elizabeth Tabish from The Chosen plays Molly. Neal McDonough, who is the Band of Brothers miniseries and Captain America, makes for a convincing Benefactor. And we even get Sean Astin from The Lord of the Rings as one of Kevin’s less than comforting friends.
GABRIEL: I don’t think they’re just going to shift you back to your wife because you asked nice.
KEVIN: Then I’m not going to ask nice. I will find a way.
GABRIEL: That is a terrible plan, terrible.
But despite its interesting premise and strong production values, Christians looking for a faith-based movie should be wary of The Shift. Brock Heasley, the film’s writer and director, is a Mormon, and the story is clearly told from that perspective. The Christian understanding of grace is absent in this film. Instead Kevin must earn Heavenly Father’s favor by living a life devoted to good deeds.
Heasley says the movie is about hope in the midst of grief, and that it’s inspired by the book of Job. But his Mormon upbringing keeps him from actually understanding Job’s story. Yes, Job and Kevin both lose their families along with their wealth and health. But that’s where the similarities end. Kevin responds by doing good deeds trying to atone for his past mistakes. Job didn’t have any past mistakes to atone for. He was a righteous man who just cried out to God asking, “Why me?” Heasley falls into the same trap that Job’s comforters did by inventing a reason for suffering.
THE BENEFACTOR: Do you honestly think that he will help you after what you just did? You are tainted goods. You’re not even worth his effort anymore.
With all this multiversal free-choice stuff, Heasley shies away from the hard truth that God is in control of everything, including our suffering. In The Shift, Kevin’s final confrontation is with the Devil who’s been tormenting him. But Job’s final showdown was with God himself, who answers Job out of the whirlwind. God doesn’t blame Job’s trials on Satan. Instead he tells Job that humans don’t have the right to question God.
Job is one of the most challenging books in the Bible. When we suffer loss, should we be like Heasley and blame the Devil, or should we be like Job and say, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”? And do we try to earn our own salvation like Kevin, or do we say with Job, “ I know that my Redeemer lives,” humbly acknowledging that we don’t redeem ourselves?
I’m Collin Garbarino.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: Ask the Editor. WORLD Radio Executive Producer Paul Butler responds to a recent email about our coverage of the war in Gaza.
PAUL BUTLER, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: During yesterday’s newscast Kent Covington filled us in on the latest about the freed hostages in Israel. Here’s how he ended the story:
KENT COVINGTON: But another family received some heartbreaking news. The youngest of the hostages, a 10-month-old baby… has reportedly been killed … alongside his 4-year-old brother and their mother. That’s according to a statement by Hamas.
That prompted listener Susan Brewster to write in:
Today on The World and Everything in It, Hamas was quoted. Big Mistake! They are murdering monsters! Would we quote Hitler during WWII??? You give them credibility!!!
Susan, you ask if we would have quoted Hitler during World War II. The short answer is mostly like yes, I think we would have. However, we wouldn’t just have parroted what he said. We would have looked at every Nazi press release with great skepticism. We would have worked hard to verify any claims by the fuhrer or his government. And that’s what we do with anything from the Hamas terrorist group communication arm as well.
The story we reported on yesterday came to light during the temporary cease-fire and the exchange of hostages for prisoners. The Bibas family had noticed that their loved ones weren’t included in the exchanges—even though it would have made sense for them to be, given the age of the boys. The family asked questions and that’s when Hamas issued its statement saying that they had been killed earlier in an Israeli air strike.
Notice that when we reported this story we did not mention that last detail from Hamas—about an Israeli airstrike. That’s because we don’t know for sure the circumstances around their deaths. We don’t even know for sure that they have been killed. Now they may have been killed by an Israeli airstrike, but if they were, Hamas terrorists are the ones responsible for them being in that situation. So that’s why we framed the story the way we did.
What we did know at the time is that the Bibas family received—in Kent’s words—“some heartbreaking news.” The two boys and their mother had reportedly been killed—which is what we said. Who reported their deaths? Hamas. So we credited the source of that information. In this instance, I don’t believe that it grants them any further credibility.
And here’s why: from the beginning our coverage we’ve made it clear that we don’t see this war between two parties with equal claims. I hope you’ve noticed how often we refer to Hamas as terrorists in our podcasts, our online articles, and in print. In most of our news stories, the first mention of Hamas includes “terrorist” in some way or other.
So we’re not afraid to quote Hamas sources. But when we do quote those sources we want you to know it. And know that we read those stories with great skepticism. Are they telling the truth? What are they leaving out? How are they distorting what happened for their purposes?
Proverbs 18:17 says: “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.” If we are doing our job well as journalists, we are that neighbor who comes and examines. We are all called to be skeptical.
And by the way, skepticism is not just for those sources we disagree with, it’s also for those we agree with. Now we ought never give in to cynicism, but we must be discerning and test what we’re told. The truth always passes through the fire of examination and comes out purified on the other side. So Susan, thanks so much for writing. I hope that helps. Thanks for writing.
That’s this month’s Ask the Editor. I’m Paul Butler.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is December 1st. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. This Sunday marks the first week of Advent. Over the next four Sundays, Christians around the world will prepare for—and reflect on—the coming of Christ.
BROWN: At the close of each Friday’s program, from now till Christmas, correspondent Bonnie Pritchett will guide us through a selection of Advent hymns.
And just a quick note, we’re creating a Spotify Playlist again this year. We’ll keep it updated throughout the month so you can find the music for your own enjoyment. We’ve included the link to that in today’s transcript at wng.org/podcasts.
MUSIC: VENEZ DIVIN MESSIE
REPORTER, BONNIE PRITCHETT: Waiting. It’s not our strong suit. Especially when war and disaster fill headlines – and our hearts – with anxiety.
But for thousands of years, Christians have found peace in God’s promise to redeem this broken world. The 16th century French carol O Come, Divine Messiah is a plea for God to intervene. The Radio France Choir performs the carol on their 2018 album Noel Eternal.
MUSIC: VENEZ DIVIN MESSIE
Penned by French poet and playwright Simon Joseph Pellegrin, the carol’s French and English translations vary. But their message is the same…as conveyed in verse one of this French version: “O son of God, do not tarry. By your incarnation give joy to our world in dismay. Tell us once again how much you love us. So many don’t know about you! O Come, O Come, O Come!”
MUSIC: THE BARRA MCNEILS
The Barra McNeils are a Canadian family ensemble. They contribute their Celtic influence to the carol on this 1999 Christmas Album.
SINGING: Sweet Savior, Haste! Come to earth. Dispel the night and show thy face. And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
The family’s lilting voices express that waiting – with hope – can dispel sadness.
SINGING: O, Thou, who nations sighed for, whom priests and prophets long foretold, come break the captives fetters, redeem the long-lost fold. O, come divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day when hope shall sing its triumph and sadness flee away.
MUSIC: IN SILENCE
On a 2015 album, the musicians of Redeemer Downtown released their version of the carol and called it In Silence.
The slow, measured tempo mimics the passage of time. Of waiting.
SINGING: O come in peace and meekness, for lowly will your cradle be. Though clothed in human weakness we shall your God-head see. O, come divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day when hope shall see its triumph and sadness flee away. And sadness flee away.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Well, it’s time to say thanks to the team members who helped put the program together this week:
Mary Reichard, David Bahnsen, Will Inboden, Emma Freire, Maria Baer, Onize Ohikere, Mary Muncy, Janie B. Cheaney, Lindsay Mast, Cal Thomas, John Stonestreet, Collin Garbarino, and Bonnie Pritchett.
And a new voice: World Opinions contributor, Nathanael Blake.
Thanks also to our breaking news team: Kent Covington, Lynde Langdon, Steve Kloosterman, Travis Kircher, Lauren Canterberry, Christina Grube, and Josh Schumacher.
And, breaking news interns Tobin Jacobson, Johanna Huebscher, and Alex Carmanaty.
And thanks to the guys who stay up late to get the program to you early: Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Our producer is Harrison Watters. Our production team includes Kristen Flavin, Benj Eicher, Lillian Hamman, Emily Whitten, and Bekah McCallum.
Anna Johansen Brown is features editor, and Paul Butler is executive producer.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio. WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
The Bible says: “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” —1 Timothy 3:1-3
Be sure to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, in church this weekend. And Lord willing, we’ll meet you right back here on Monday.
Go now in grace and peace.
WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.