In The Air There’s A Feeling Of Christmas
We were in NYC last week and if you’ve ever been there in December, you know there’s nothing like those scenes to get you in the Christmas spirit. Store windows dressed with packages, wrapped in fashion, displaying Santa - all scenes designed to get you in the spirit (and maybe to entice you to spend money). Large ornaments and wreaths decorate the doors of restaurants, hotels, and church gates. Christmas carols played through every speaker! What caught my attention most though, were the Christmas hymns sung or played in many public places. During one multimedia production we attended, after the dancers and Santas and elves performed, there was a nativity scene with a choir singing "O Come All Ye Faithful". It was a secular event, yet here were holy figures (even live camels) around a manger scene with these words from the second stanza over the booming sound system:
Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings Risen with healing in His wings Mild He lays His glory by Born that man no more may die Born to raise the sons of earth Born to give them second birth Hark! The herald angels sing Glory to the new-born king!
It made me pause and wonder: Do people hear and understand the meaning of those words? If they don’t know about Jesus, the healer, do the words being sung make them think more about His power over sickness? If they don’t know about Jesus, the Savior, do the words ‘Born to give them second birth’ poke some light into dark places? I’ve heard it said that Christmas is the one time of the year when everyone is focused on our holy celebration of His birth. Easter might grab the attention of a few who come to church with a friend or family member. But Christmas! The whole world is focused on Christmas! This is one time of the year when we can sing the words of these hymns with extra joy and smiles because we DO KNOW the meaning. My challenge is not to become so busy with the hustle of the season that I miss it. Instead, I want to smile and sing joyfully when I hear the words of familiar carols. Will you sing along with me?
Hark! The herald angels sing Glory to the new-born king!