December 1st Meditation
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’ (Luke 2:13-14)
If you were to ask me to name my favorite Advent/Christmas song I would be hard pressed to pick just one. I would start with, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." This song carries me back through every period of my life. I remember sitting in church next to my mom on the first Sunday of Advent in our little church in Minnesota as we sang it during the Hanging of the Greens service. It also takes me back to our little church in Chasm Falls, NY, lighting the first Advent candle. And I think of standing in front of my first (and only) congregation as each year we begin the journey to Bethlehem. I will miss singing it in worship this year, but it will still be a part of the season.
Some of the other "churchy" songs of the season I love include, "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Angels We Have Heard on High," and "Joy to the World." Oh, and "Away in a Manger," "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day," and who can leave off "Silent Night" sung in the candlelight of Christmas Eve. These are a few of my favorite...songs.
There are many non-churchy songs on my favorites list, too. But first let me just say enough with "Baby It's Cold Outside." Good heavens that song is overplayed, and I am pretty sure every artist that ever lived has recorded a version.
Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit more than "Carol of the Bells." Or anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Then there is also Bruce Springsteen singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing "Little Drummer Boy." Variations of the Twelve Days of Christmas that I love include the Muppets version, Straight No Chaser's acapella version, and of course, "The Twelve Pains of Christmas." That one will make you laugh!
Much like the angels singing on the first Christmas, music is an important part of this time of year. This year will be different, though. I have no doubt about that. We will not be gathering for worship, we will not be singing the favorite carols, and we probably won't be singing "Silent Night" by candlelight. I will miss it all.
However, as we begin this season of Advent and prepare our hearts and our world for Christmas yet again, perhaps our favorite songs of the season can comfort us with memories of Christmases past, hope for Christmases to come, and remind us that Christmas is really about Emmanuel - God is with us. And whether we sing it or not, Emmanuel is coming.
Worship This Week
Facebook Live Only, Sunday 10am
2nd Sunday of Advent: Hope When We Are Lost
Keep In Prayer:
Ellie Justice, Don Long, Alvin Shelley, Dee Kuhlman
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne