by Graham Mol
Last night we revisited a local residence that has been transformed into a Christmas Light House. We had discovered this local gem last week, and now were showing it to some of Candice’s family. At this house amidst all the lights and decorations, there is a patio table filled with ornaments depicting various “Christmassy” scenes (think Winter Wonderland). Some of these emitting festive tunes. This time, however, when I went closer to the table there was a beautiful sound that eclipsed the other tunes. It was the sound of a choir gracefully singing Silent Night, the voices blending in deep harmonies. The song was coming from one of the ornaments and as I gazed at the table I was sure of which one it was…
This elegant replica of a Church steeple with an angel bathed in sparkling light, was indeed the source of the angelic music. The effect of the design and the music was quite simply movingly beautiful, far outshining all the other festive scenes.
In this moment of awe and peace I also felt a tinge of sadness that I wouldn’t be able to listen a choir sing like this live this year. I also realised that this is one of the things I find most meaningful about Christmas, that we get to sing along with the angels.
8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors!
Since the very night of Christ’s birth there has been singing to celebrate. If you think about it, Christmas without carols really doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. It’s truly remarkable that some of the well-beloved carols that we sing each year were written hundreds of years ago! Yet each year, we all join in (even those who aren’t Christians) to sing the familiar and often deeply theological Christmas hymns.
For me these carols provide a moment to step back from all the fun and busyness of this time of year and focus on the wondrous miracle of Christ’s birth. We get to join in with the angels in singing praise as we reflect on the glory, peace and joy of Christ’s arrival on earth. This is a message that eclipses all others during this time of year and it is “What Christmas means to me.”