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December 08, 2019 - #4708 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at


Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“Dance and Sing”
Music: French carol
Lyrics: Traditional
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Music and Lyrics: Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker
Arrangement: Arthur Harris

“Adeste Fideles” Organ solo
Music: John Francis Wade
Arrangement: Franklin D. Ashdown

“The First Noel”1
Music: English carol
Lyrics: Traditional
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“How Far Is It to Bethlehem?”
Music: English carol
Lyrics: Frances Chesterton
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Carol to the King”
Music: French carol
Lyrics: Jim Christian
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

1 On the CD Rejoice and Be Merry

The Spoken Word

The Gift of Love at Christmas

Sometime after the birth of the Christ child on that first Christmas Day, the baby and His parents were visited by Wise Men from the East. They came to honor the sacred occasion with loving gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh. Their kind offering gave rise to a tradition that now seems inseparable from the Christmas season: giving gifts to those we love.

Stories about gifts of love were later associated with Saint Nicholas and others, whose charitable giving became legendary and served to reinforce the importance of sharing with those around us. In such giving, it isn’t just the gift that is valuable; it’s the love behind it. The distance the Wise Men traveled and their love for the newborn King were part of the gift! Indeed, the true spirit of holiday giving is the spirit of love and of sacrifice for others.

One young man loves Christmas not because of what he receives but rather because of the delight he finds in giving special gifts to people he loves. He plans his gift-giving for months, deciding on just the right gift for each person on his list. He can’t afford to buy anything expensive or elaborate, but he can afford to give his heart, to think about what would bring joy to the one whose name is carefully written on the tag placed on each gift. Sometimes, when he thinks it would mean the most, the young man gives gifts of his own time and effort, such as a promise to shine shoes, wash a car, or do some other personal service. Not surprisingly, these are the gifts that both he and the recipient usually cherish the most and remember the longest.

This is a lesson that we learn again every Christmas—that it’s the love and sacrifice behind the gift that make it truly meaningful. Often the most valued gifts are given by those in need themselves. That’s part of the magic of Christmas: you don’t have to be rich to give gifts that come from a richness of love.

It’s been said that not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love. The true spirit of Christmas shines through when even small gifts are given with great love.