Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on who his favor rests.”
I love music. When I plan a worship service, it usually includes lots of music. Advent and Christmas are no exception. I spend hours finding the right songs convey the same message I will share in my message.
I realized one day I had not played any Christmas music this year. I was at the library with two grandkids. We routinely attend Tuesday morning story time. We cannot leave without armfuls of books. While checking out, I noticed a display of Christmas CD’s. I quickly grabbed a couple and threw them on the counter. Both Ellie and Dylan had disappeared in those 60 seconds I was distracted.
With no CD player at my in-laws, I put the CD’s into my laptop and the songs repeat over and over. Then, I remembered the Madison Christian radio station is playing Christmas songs 24 hours a day. Now, I have the online version in the background.
What is your favorite Christmas carol? This is a very difficult question for me. I love some traditional songs: What Child is This, O Come All Ye Faithful and of course the chorus in Angels We Have Heard on High. The right person singing O Holy Night can literally make a Christmas Eve service. There is a popular 50’s song called Star of the East. I just love it the harmony in the chorus.
Many contemporary Christmas songs are also meaningful. Mary Did You Know and Breathe of Heaven tell the story from Mary’s perspective. The Trans-Siberian version of Canon in D takes one of my all-time favorite songs and makes it Christmas. What is not to love about this version?
A pianist at a church I served loved Joy to the World. She often told me she wanted this song at her funeral. I obliged and we sang it at her service.
Christmas carols honestly began the night of Christ’s birth. While we read the words of the angels, I imagine them being set to a wonderful tune. I can almost hear the three-and-four part harmony as they overwhelmed the scared shepherds. With this type of announcement, how could the shepherds not leave their flocks and search for the Christ child?
So what is your favorite Christmas carol? Why? I’d love to hear your responses. Give me your best argument of why your favorite Christmas song should be mine. As you can see, it’s impossible for me to pick one.
Thank you, Lord God, for all the many, many people who have been inspired and lead to write such beautiful and deeply meaningful Christmas songs. May the words of these songs inspire us to ponder the story in new and different way. In these days leading to the birth of your Son, may music be a regular and important way for us to embody this great story once again. Amen.
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