Music has always been a big part of my life.
I can neither sing nor play an instrument. I tried piano at an oldish young age and had no patience for practice. I took one guitar lesson and didn’t want to cut my nails. I think I may be at least a little tone deaf.
But I love music. Many kinds. It does something in the very core of who I am. Lifts my spirits. Makes me smile. Lightens my step. Without thinking, I break out in song–and quiet right back down if someone can possibly hear me.
Christmas music is particularly special. I love the carols. I’ve been known to get my Christmas tunes going in October. A practice I no longer need to do because every store in America begins playing Christmas music right after Labor Day.
The words and music of these old carols bring back wonderful memories of where and when I learned them. In fifth grade, our class performed “The Little Drummer Boy” for the Christmas pageant, and I was responsible for the drum. My Mom’s favorite was “Angels We Have Heard On High”, because she liked the “gloria in excelsis deo” part. She hadn’t a clue what it meant, but she loved the sound of the words. My Dad loved “Silent Night”–it had been a favorite of his as a boy. One of my favorites is “O Come, O Come Immanuel”. The tune is hauntingly beautiful. The words reflect the sadness of living in darkness without light. Poignant.
So given the chance to go to the Candlelight Processional at DisneyWorld with friends, we were all in. Disney’s professional singers were accompanied by guest choirs, many of them high schools from around the country. Backed by a full orchestra, it was a feast of sight and sound, done with the excellence all have come to expect of anything Disney.
A celebrity narrator read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke, intermingling it with songs sung by the choir. This wasn’t a sing-along, but folks in the audience couldn’t seem to help themselves as favorites were sung with such beauty, from “Away In A Manger” to “Joy To The World.” These were songs from childhood. Words came without thinking. Thoughts that gave us hope and security when we were younger, now dismissed and hiding in the corners of our minds. But still there.
The climax came when the audience stood as the orchestra cued up Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”. The whole audience participated.
King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And He shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah.
Words that talk about Jesus. About the One who will reign. Forever. And we all sang it. As if we meant it.
Music moves all of us. The combination of words and melody can have us tapping our feet, shimmying across the floor, or being touched in a place deep in our hearts because we’ve heard truth in a new way.
May the music of this season move you to really hear Who it’s all about.
First photo courtesy of content.time.com.
Second photo courtesy of quotes.lol-rofl.com.