christmas · faith · family · special days

sounds of christmas

I’m sure for most of us, we have a few favourite Christmas songs, even if some of us get a little grinchy about having to listen to them for too many weeks.  It’s hard to deny that most of the Christmas music out there just plain makes us feel good and all Christmas-y-like.

When my cl boy was little, his favourite was “Goats Hangin’ on a Mountain”.  Ummmm…never heard that one?  He thought “Go Tell it on the Mountain” was less about the good news than it was about farm animals in the Alps.

When I was young, our family always got together with a dear family every Christmas Eve. We would go to the Christmas Eve service, then head home to lots of treats, good fun and lots of singing.  The local newspaper always printed a Christmas song book.  It was fun to go through it each year, singing the songs over and over till I thought I had them memorized.  I remember one year, we were sitting together, we’d been singing and visiting, and the mister of our family friends shared how much he enjoyed our Christmas tradition and how much he loved and appreciated our family.  It was quite beautiful.  To my horror and shame to this day, I remember piping up with some comment about “mushy stuff.”  The sad part is, even at that young age, I felt the same way about their family.  I do not see them often any more…but I still consider them dear, dear friends, and still regret those silly, juvenile words.

I also remember our Christmas albums and their beautiful covers stored in our stereo console. (Yes, I am that old.)  Elvis’ Christmas Album, Christmas is for Children and All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth are the albums that stand out most vividly.  When I found some of these records at thrift stores, I picked them up to display for nostalgia’s sake.

I may have mentioned before, that while many in our family are musical, I am not.  Let’s just say I have more passion than talent when I sing. But I love listening to music and making “a joyful noise.”  Wrapping presents and holiday baking are, perhaps, little more than chores to be done without a Christmas playlist on in the background (or maybe even blasting front and centre).

I have many favourites–old and new.  It would be hard for me to pick just one.  Of the old, I would have to say “O Holy Night” and “What Child Is This” would be favourites. I also like some of the vintage-y songs, as well, like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (I know it’s a little risqué for some) and, of course, “White Christmas.”  Of the new, “Hope was Born this Night” and “How many Kings” are a couple at the top of my list.

The title says it all:  “Hope Was Born This Night.”  When Christ was born as a baby, Hope entered this world.  He is hope.  Not just for Israel, but for all mankind.  Not just for life in this world, but for eternity.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
~Romans 15:10-13

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother’s shawl
Just a child
Is this who we’ve waited for? ’cause

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we’ve waited for?

All for me
All for you

Downhere – How Many Kings Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I love the message of this song.  Israel was waiting for the prophesied Messiah.  The one who would be a mighty King and rescue them from captivity.  How could this baby, born to ordinary people in the lowliest of places, be the one they were awaiting?  Yet, there He was. The King of Kings who stepped down from His heavenly throne, to reach out in love to save a broken world.  The Father gave His only Son for me.  For you.  Only One did all this for us.  At the time there were those who believed this message given by angels, guided by a star.  They brought their gifts–some costly, some simple–because they believed.

Gold for His Honour.  He is King.  He is God.  He is Divine.
Frankincense for His pleasure.  He is our High Priest.  His is a fragrance of sinless perfection. His sacrifice was once for all.  Complete.  Because of Him, we have full access to God the Father. We may ‘come boldly before the throne of grace.’
Myrrh for the cross.  He is our Saviour. Myrrh is a bitter herb, a foreshadowing of His suffering. He would face sorrow upon sorrow as He bore the sins of the world.  His sole purpose in becoming Man was to die in our place, to bridge the gap that separates us from God.

All for me.  

All for you.  

Do you believe?


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