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November 27, 2022 - #4863 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“Sussex Carol”
Music: Traditional English carol
Lyrics: Luke Wadding
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Christmas Bells Are Ringing”
Music and Lyrics: Robert P. Manookin
Arrangement: Arthur Harris

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (organ solo)
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
Arrangement: Neil Harmon

“Dance and Sing (Il est né)”1
Music and Lyrics: Traditional French carol
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“The First Noel”2.3
Music and Lyrics: Traditional English carol
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“In the Bleak Midwinter”1,4
Music: Gustav Holst
Lyrics: Christina Rossetti
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“And Then Shall Your Light Break Forth,” from Elijah
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
Lyrics: From Isaiah 58:8

  1. From the album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
  2. From the album The Wonder of Christmas.
  3. From the album Rejoice and Be Merry.
  4. From the album Christmas Best.

The Spoken Word

What Can We Give Him?

It’s been said that “getting there is half the fun.” That’s true of vacations and road trips, and it’s even more true of Christmas. It’s as if Christmas is so full of joy and cheer that one day simply isn’t big enough to hold all of it. Almost unavoidably, the bright lights, the colorful decorations, and the spirit of sharing spill over into the weeks preceding December 25th.

Children, in particular, approach Christmas with an eager anticipation that’s both delightful and contagious. And so adults can’t help themselves either—they plan and prepare with high hopes and expectations, humming Christmas carols as they go.

However, in all our looking forward, it’s important to remember what we’re looking forward to. Getting there, after all, is at most half the fun. It’s too easy, in all the bustle and excitement, to lose sight of what we’re really celebrating. In truth, there is no true Christmas without Christ. Our anticipation of Christmas is an echo of the anticipation that believers have felt about Him for centuries. The festivities, the lights and decorations are, at their best, an opportunity to honor Him.

Jesus Christ was not just another baby. His birth and life brought new light and eternal life into the world. He showed us the way, lived for us, and gave His life for us. And so, as our thoughts turn to gifts we will give on Christmas morning, it’s appropriate to ponder: what gifts might we offer Him whose birth we celebrate?

The English poet Christina Rossetti wrote:

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,—
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

As we give of ourselves—our heart full of love—we demonstrate our faith in the giver of all good gifts, and our love grows to overflowing.

In Spanish, the word más means “more.” Christmas isn’t a Spanish word, but perhaps we could give this season more of Christ—more of Him in our thoughts, in our actions, in our anticipation for Christmas—so much more, in fact, that one day can’t hold our love for Him, and it overflows into every part of our lives every season of the year.  

  1. Christina G. Rossetti, “A Christmas Carol,” in Goblin Market, the Prince’s Progress, and Other Poems (1879), 222.