THE MAGIC OF MUSIC
Whether instrumental or choral, music brings magic to the Christmas season. The words and the melodies tell the story of God’s son born to Mary in a humble stable in Bethlehem. For the young, music captures the details of the story and helps them remember the event. Mary rode on a donkey to Bethlehem. She and Joseph had to stay in an animal stall since there was no room in the inn. That’s when Mary delivered her baby and things went from ordinary to exciting. The shepherds were young boys watching their sheep at night when the angels appeared in the heavens telling them that God’s son had been born in Bethlehem! They were told to go and see the child. How amazing! In our preschool classrooms we often sing our way through the story with songs we have learned, “Mary Rode a Donkey,” “Mary Had a Baby Boy,” Away in a Manger” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” We read the book, “Little Drummer Boy” and listen to the beating of the drum as a child plays for Baby Jesus. The Christmas story is told and retold as we sing our favorite songs.
Christmas concerts are on many of our schedules in December. Colleges, churches and professional groups excite us with their performances of classic Christmas music. Sung in many languages and played by orchestras, bands and ensembles of many sizes, all in attendance are swept up in the emotions of the music. We imagine the events of the story, the surprised shepherds, the wandering Wisemen, the contented animals in the stable, the star and the choir of angels singing of “peace on Earth, good will to men.” Mothers and fathers alike can imagine the pride and awe Mary and Joseph must have felt seeing this lovely child born of God. Although the angels weren’t singing the “Alleluia Chorus,” when I hear that powerful song, written in response to the birth of Christ, it touches my heart, I feel the magnitude of this event and strong emotions of praise, love and hope!
The power of music is witnessed again in the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914. With World War l soldiers hunkered down in the trenches on Christmas Eve silence fell over the French countryside. Quietly, a German soldier began singing “Silent Night.” Soon others joined in singing in their native tongue, honoring the day Jesus was born for all mankind. What a remarkable experience in the midst of war.
With the coming of the Christmas season, embrace the music. It has a story to tell and the power to unify even people of opposing ideologies. Jesus came for all of us. He loves all of us. Alleluia! Praise the Lord! Merry Christmas!