“Good Tidings of Great Joy”
How many times have you read and heard these poignant words, “. . . and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger?” There’s no need to explain who “she” is, or who “he is.” The familiar account is drawn from Luke 2:1-14 describing the fateful night when over shepherd’s fields near Bethlehem the heavens were filled with angels proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Every year The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square close their annual Christmas concert spectacular with this familiar account of the Nativity scene followed by the inspiring musical finale “Angels from the Realms of Glory” arranged by Choir music director Mack Wilberg. Adding to the program are often favorites like “Carol to the King,” “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” “Silent Night,” and “Hallelujah” from Messiah.
No two readings of Luke are exactly the same, but each communicates the significance of that night when a star shone over Bethlehem long ago. The Choir’s concert nativity story narrations over the past twenty years have ranged from the familiar voice of broadcaster Tom Brokaw to the majestic tones of Hugh Bonneville to the quiet strength of Angela Lansbury to the eloquence of John-Rhys Davies to the joyful expressions of Kristin Chenoweth—and even to the angelic voices of children reading from Luke 2. Check out many of the narrations on the Choir’s YouTube channel here.
Each retelling of the Biblical story brings the Nativity to life and with it the promise of hope, peace, and goodwill for everyone.
May the message of the birth of Jesus Christ bring an affirmation of Heavenly Father’s love and concern for you.