I’m listening to Christmas music as I write this. I vowed I’d wait until after Thanksgiving before I did, but how can you write about Christmas without Christmas music playing in the background? We’ve got more than 200 Christmas recordings on CD’s and vinyl in our collection. Some go back to the 1960’s but still sound great! Being musical purists, the collection is divided into Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany recordings. We’re heavy on English cathedral choirs – there’s nothing like the boy choir sound to make the season bright! More than any other season of the church year, music plays an integral role in the celebration of the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany cycle. The carols, the hymns, the cantatas tug at our hearts and send them soaring Each of us has our favorites, and the season wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t hear our “special music.” It reminds us of Christmas’ past, when we were children and our families were gathered all around the tree early on Christmas morning. We couldn’t wait to open our gifts, and before we knew it, the wrapping paper was strewn all over the living room floor and we were busily playing with or assembling our “big gifts,” as Christmas music played in the background. More than likely, we’d been at the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church the night before. It was an opportunity to sing favorite carols and hear glorious anthems from the choir. When you were young, you snuggled-in next to your folks and dozed-off while the minister preached the obligatory Christmas Eve Sermon. It was the only other time during the year that the church was packed, and the minister had to make a good impression on the visitors! (I know that from experience!) Our memories are wrapped-up in the music, and when I hear it, they come rushing back again. I know the Christ Child is the “reason for the season,” but it is much more complicated than that. It becomes even more so with age. But lest we dwell only in the past, let’s live fully into this season. As we gather at Bethany for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany cycle of 2019, let’s make new memories. The Christ Child is the reason for the season – we must never forget that! Our hearts and minds are renewed each time he comes, and our lives take on new meaning for the coming year. So, here’s to the music of the spheres as the angels join in chorus once again to announce the royal birth. The Babe of Bethlehem has come again to a waiting world!
A Very Merry Christmas to All! Kent