One of our favorite Christmas traditions is listening to Christmas music. During the holiday season, we enjoy a remarkable Christmas program at our church, hymn singing in worship services at our church, some 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 Christmas memories is a duet some friends sung, year after year, in our church in Oregon. They did it so well it became a Christmas tradition. Our memories of their version are still better than any professionally recorded version. Another family memory 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 musical collection). 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 your Christmas services this weekend. Allow the music to bond you with your church family, remind you of biblical truth about the birth of Jesus, and move you emotionally through visual reminders of the Nativity. And, even if they gripe a bit, take your boys (and girls) to look at Christmas lights accompanied by the songs of Christmas (use a pizza if necessary).
Since an individual’s wise financial planning has recently blessed Gateweay in a significant way, Dr. Iorg encourages others to do likewise by considering an estate plan through the Baptist Foundation of California.
Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.