Christmas seems to be more of a wonderful and unsearchable mystery to me each year. Last night I was pleasantly surprised by this John Rutter piece at our church's Christmas concert.
What sweeter music can we bring, Than a carol, for to sing The birth of this our heavenly King? Awake the voice! Awake the string! Heart, ear, and eye, and everything.
and later, we hear:
Dark and dull night, fly hence away, And give the honor to this day, That sees December turned to May. If we may ask the reason, say The why, and wherefore, all things here Seem like the springtime of the year? 'Tis He is born, whose quickening birth Gives life and luster, public mirth, To heaven, and the under-earth. We see Him come, and know Him ours, Who, with His sunshine, and His showers, Turns all the patient ground to flowers. The darling of the world is come, And fit it is, we find a roomTo welcome Him. The nobler part Of all the house here, is the heart, Which we will give Him; and bequeath This holly, and this ivy wreath, To do Him honor; who's our King, And Lord of all this reveling.
For a bit more depth and links on this lovely piece (including a source to buy the album) from one of my favorite people, go here.
And, to think, some people would say that the older music of the church has nothing to offer us! To that, I say, Bah Humbug!
A special thanks to the Cathedral Choir of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, for a wonderful Christmas concert. It has been a difficult and painful journey for us all this past year, and you took this weary middle-aged heart, and injected true Christmas joy. Bless you all, each and every one, your music transported me to a gentle, restful place, and your musical gifts are gifts of grace!