December 18, Luke 2:13-15
By Jim Hill, Baptist General Convention of Missouri Executive Director
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Have you ever thought how empty our Christmas celebration would be without music? The air is filled with music at Christmas. Musical instruments like the drum of "The Little Drummer Boy," harps, violins, organs and bells remind us of the angel's song. Christmas resounds with all kinds of music. I enjoy hearing or joining with a choir to sing Handel's "Messiah." Many popular Christmas songs are shared, such as "Jingle Bells," "Winter Wonderland," "Silver Bells" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
Other great Christmas favorites include "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Christmas would not be complete for many of us without Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" or songs such as "Deck the Halls" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
For most of us, Christmas is best represented by the carols we sing and hear. Groups of young people stroll from house to house singing Christmas carols. In many ways and places and in a great variety of voices, the beauty and wonder of Christmas will be expressed in carols such as "Angels We Have Heard on High," "The First Noel," "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "We Three Kings," "Joy to the World" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain."
Many believe the first Christmas carol was the angel's message of good tidings to the shepherds. In a real sense, Christmas is a song! What a tragedy it would have been for the shepherds if they had not responded to the angels' announcement. The music of Christmas still invites us to celebrate the Savior's birth and the new life we find in him. Share the music!