This past weekend, we enjoyed the California Baptist University Christmas musicale entitled “The Spirit, Songs and Story of the Season.” It was spectacular! Once again, our friends at CBU demonstrated why they are at the forefront of Christian universities in the United States.
Beside the talent on display, it helped that they were working with a rich catalogue – Christmas music. The Nativity story has inspired some of the greatest music ever written. Partly because my wife Ann loves it so much, my life is filled with Christmas music every December. Over the years, I have come to love it as much as she does.
During the holiday season – besides music playing in our home – we enjoy a remarkable Christmas program at our church, hymn singing in worship services at various churches, Christmas musicals on television, downloads of Christmas albums by favorite artists, and satellite radio songs of the season as we drive while shopping or attending Christmas events. All in all – a musical overdose of Christmas set to music.
The music at Christmas is special for several reasons. First, the familiarity of frequently repeated hymns and songs means dozens of them can be sung from memory. Second, the biblical content is strong – particularly focused on themes like faith, hope and love. Finally, the songs lend themselves to all kinds of dramatic interpretations through skits, pantomimes, costumes, and other external effects. When you combine all this, the music during the Yule season is special.
One of our favorite family Christmas memories is singing Silent Night as part of candlelight services. While our boys weren’t much into emotive experiences, even they participated in this service wholeheartedly. The boys still groaned when we later made them drive around looking at Christmas lights (singing along with Ann’s favorite Christmas musical selections). We usually bribed them with the promise of pizza after, which kept them passably agreeable during the drive. Christmas makes us all a little softer around the edges.
Enjoy Christmas music this year. Allow it to bond your church family, remind you of biblical truth about the birth of Jesus, and move you emotionally through reminders of the Nativity. And, even if they gripe a bit, take your children to look at Christmas lights accompanied by the songs of Christmas (use a pizza if necessary).