Daily Dose, Dec. 27 — Sounds of the Season: Christmas Songs

 

LISTEN TO “SILENT NIGHT”

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21) As a pastor, there’s a scene during Christmas worship that I wish, just once, every person who warms a pew on Christmas Eve could experience for themselves. I wish that they could see what I’ve seen for so many years as the light of Christ slowly makes its way through the Sanctuary, from candle to candle. I wish they could take in the sight when moms and dads help little ones light their own candles, taking care to do it “right.” I wish they could see the candlelight illuminate the faces of families spanning 3 and 4 generations. And, oh, how I wish they could know the absolute thrill of hearing from up front all of those voices join together as they lift their candles high and sing “Silent Night.” I’ll never tire of that experience. And I hope and pray that we never tire of the amazing story that this moment points us to. I pray that we’ll remember when we sing and light our candles that it’s not a moment crafted by the Hallmark Channel. As stirring as it may be to our heartstrings -- for a variety of reasons -- it is ultimately the most amazing pronouncement that has ever been made. The song captures it well. Jesus’ birth is the “dawn of redeeming grace.” On us, God has shown his light. Grace has dawned. It’s a whole new day for all of us. -- Rev. Brad Greene