Skip to comments.Do You Hear What I hear
Posted on 12/24/2019 9:04:49 PM PST by CaptainPhilFan
The past few years I have developed a mini-tradition of being up by myself through the wee hours of Christmas listening to Christmas music. During that time from 1 a.m. through dawn, I go through the Christmas Pandora music stations that some of you may recall from my Andy Williams Meets Watson and Crick article a few years back. I seem to spend the most time on the Carol of the Bells station I built from George Winstons version off his magnificent December album. The instrumental versions of traditional songs such as Silent Night, I Saw Three Ships, and O Holy Night go so well during that time when its darkest and stillest.
I grew up with these songs being played all the time by my mother beginning when Santa made his annual appearance at the end of the Macys Thanksgiving paradethe once traditional start of the Christmas season in my childhood house and still in my heartthough Little Christmas. Sitting with just the twinkling lights from our tree listening to a slow piano fill my living room with O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, I exult in the tender notes as the words play along in my head. Its a warm and familiar way to celebrate Christmas that I look forward to now as the day approaches, allowing me to recapture some of the magic of growing up with a Mrs. Claus for a mother.
In fact, I look forward to it so much that I keep my listening to a minimum in December to make that night all the more special. Perhaps thats something we should all consider as many of us reel from the Christmas season now spanning from mid-October to New Years, the sad and inevitable result of retailers conducting their holiday-centric Valentines-Easter-4th of July-Halloween-Christmas manic journey through every year. But thats a discussion for another day.
As I was listening on Christmas morning 2018, I began, really for the first time, to contemplate the words running through my head and how they came to be written. Up to that point they were just songs limited to that very particular time of the year, though certainly very special songs because of that very particular time of the year. Nevertheless, they were just songs, just words I was very familiar with.
The more I contemplated, though, the more I realized they are anything but just songs. Its one thing to be able to sing, Come and behold him in English and Natum videte in Latin as almost autonomic responses because theres a whole section of my brain with both versions of O Come All Ye Faithful permanently etched; its entirely another to feel what it means to have the King of angels to behold, no matter what the language is.
Took me almost 60 years to figure it out, but that morning in 2018 I finally got it and I felt awed. Awed by our Savior coming to earth to save us, God as a child born of a virgin in humble surroundings with angels proclaiming it. The intellectual knowing giving way to the emotional knowing. I was awed by the feeling of wanting to shout out how wonderful it is, to explain to others the enormity and the majesty. God, the Lord Jesus, on Earth. I was awed not only by the feeling but also by those who had gone ahead of me through the ages to shout it out, to softly speak it, to loudly and boldly proclaim it, and to reverently tell of the birth of Jesus in song. I finally understood those words I thought I knew so well, but really only recited well.
Now its my turn to proclaim it in the way that I can, only I am proclaiming to listen to the words of the religious Christmas songs and feel what their authors felt. I know many have long been where I just arrived, but I suspect there are probably a few stragglers out there like me who need a bit of a nudge. My Christmas present to you: a nudge.
No matter where you are though in this recognition, take some time to give those words a deep listen whether as a traditional arrangement, a New Age variation, or just yourself softly humming or loudly belting them out. The magnitude and wonder of our Lord Jesus Christs birth never gets old. That is the message as we celebrate Christmas once again. It truly is a time for wonder and awe.
Merry Christmas, my dear friends, and as my father would say immediately after Christmas dinner grace, Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Written by a very dear man. I think this is beautiful.
Carol of the Bells station I built from George Winstons version off his magnificent December album
I just heard this less than ten minutes ago. The CD is now finishing on it last song.
George Winston - love him! “December” is also a personal favorite. Happy Christmas!
I truly think one would get pelted with crackers and sausage and cheese and olives from the Antipasto if one went on too long about the real reason for the celebrating.
That’s a shame.
The tangible has come to mean WAY too much and as I get older, I realize that the tangibles don’t comfort one nearly as much as faith and a feeling of peace and even the memories of Christmases gone by with family that is no longer here.
Perhaps traditions need to be rebooted with an emphasis on why we do this thing we do on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
I fear too many celebrate it because it’s “fun” but don’t believe even a little.
I would never tell those people “don’t celebrate Christmas!” but i would ask them why they bother to.
If it’s not at all about Christ then it’s not at all about Christmas.
To be perfectly frank, i didn’t think nearly enough about the “Christ” part of Christmas until I came upon this thread.
What a precious and beautiful testimony! Thank you. It happens that for various reasons...not bad ones...all okay...I am alone this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I knew I would have a blessed time with The Lord in this different experience. And what you did with your heartfelt spiritual message was to lift me into unity with all Believers around our nation and even the world. I don’t personally know you or any of the other Believers who so regularly appear on Free Republic....but yet I do know you all and you know me. May our Dear Savior be as close to all of you this day and tomorrow as He is to me at this moment, having read your message.
Your words are beautiful. And Amen. Christ, indeed.
Joyful Christmas to you. God bless us, every one.
Bravada, this is not my writing, but I feel your reply and agree with my whole heart. Many of us are singular tonight in our houses, but as long as we know Christ and remember the joyful reason we have Christmas we are never alone. We celebrate with every other soul who knows the Lord and are beyond thankful that He, who loved the world sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Amen and Amen and Amen.
PS - This is the link to Youtube. I don’t know if a more peaceful album was ever recorded.
I liked your article and I like your choice of music you find meaningful with regards to Christmas! Your article reminded me of a song Ive been promoting for a few years. I hope you listen and enjoy! Merry Christmas!
Thank you so much! Perfect starter for my Christmas day.
The words, the words!
“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining
‘TIL HE APPEARED AND THE SOUL FELT ITS WORTH...”
That one always reduces me to a blubbering, joyous fool.
Amen. Just about my favorite Christmas song.
Merry Christmas to you!
I’m so glad I shared it then, it is a heartfelt piece of writing. (I didn’t write it :) )
Merry Christmas to you!
That duet is a favorite of mine, maybe because it IS two very different men singing praise together. Thank you for sharing that, I haven’t heard it yet this season.
Happy Christmas to you :)
Merry Christmas, fellow sinner! Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas! Glory to God in the highest!
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