Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The True Soundtrack of Christmas

Last week I had opportunity to hear The Georgia Children’s Chorus sing their stunning rendition of Benjamin Britten’s, “This Little Babe,” from A Ceremony of Carols. I have loved this piece since high school when I first played it for an ensemble. Back then, I appreciated the complexity of the music, the pounding rhythm, and the overlapping rounds. Today, I love it for much more than that.

With the exception of a few pieces in the Messiah, “This Little Babe,” almost stands alone in capturing what I think is the true tone of Jesus’ birth.

The first line gives a clue. I can’t copy verbatim for copyright reasons, but paraphrased it would be Jesus came to eviscerate the camp of the enemy. As we sing our tinkling “all is calm, all is bright” tonight at our Christmas Eve service, I wonder if in the heavenlies, the actual event was anything but calm. I believe when God shot through the night to take on the frailty of flesh,  it was a cacophonous horn blowing, drum beating, cymbal crashing all hands on deck event. Angels must have crowded to the balconies to get a view, and the peak we have of the celestial beings that sang before the shepherds might have only hinted at the enormity of the angel choir.

As the song suggests, this baby came to do battle—to take back what was His—to set up the greatest offensive known to humankind and to do it from the lowest, meanest stage possiblea stable. His arrival would split time and splinter the grip of evil.  John said it best. "The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil's ways" (I John 3:8 The Message).

The accompaniment to the song is simple, only a piano or harp, mirroring the simplicity of God’s plan, but there is no mistaking the driving urgency.

Tonight as we sing our lullaby carols, might we listen hard, and perhaps hear in the supernatural a percussive rumbling, which would be the truer soundtrack for what we celebrate. Remember, here’s the thing. He did this for us, so if it comes over you to shout a Hallelujah, all the better.

Merry Christmas, friends!

This Little Babe lyrics are HERE. Listen HERE.

I'm so excited to share the cover of my new book releasing in January,
A Plan for Everything!

It is the sequel to, A Key to Everything available HERE.




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