Merry “Week-Before-Christmas”, everyone!
Isn’t Christmas the best?! All the music we love so much and know so well!!
“Hark! The Herald Angels sing! Glory to the New-born King!…”
“I saw three ships come sailin’ in on Christmas Day! On Christmas Day!…”
“Joy to the world! The Lord is come! Let earth…”
Whoa. One sec…
“On Christmas Day?” …“On Christmas Day?” …“Come sailin’ in?”
I’ve never seen ships at Christmas?
What verses is that in?!
Is that song about Columbus Day?
I’ve gotta look this up a minute…Be right back after these brief messages…
“Glo-ooooo-ooooo-ooooo-ria! In excelses Deo!…If you want to spend your Christmas eve reflecting on the true meaning of the coming Christmas Day, come share with us ‘A Christmas Eve at Triple C’ starting at 7:00 pm Sunday, December 24…”
Ok. I’m back! Thanks for holding!
Wow! That Christmas carol is kind of…(‘Scuse me!)…nutty! It seems that it comes from the idea that three ships carried the bones of the three wisemen to Cologne, Germany in 1162!
“There comes a vessel laden…
Mary holds the rudder,
The angel steers it on!”
In Milan, they say that those bones were originally in the Church of Saint Eustorgio and that in 1162, Frederick Barbarossa stole them and whisked them away to Germany! Free shipping! But no ships!
Speaking of not quite knowing what we’re singing about…
“Hark! The Herald Angels…”
It comes from Old English (“heorcian”) and it means, “listen!” Because the angels are singing! (I’m not sure that if the skies were filled with angels singing, you’d have to tell anyone to hush and listen!)
“Joy To the World” wasn’t about Christmas at all! It was about when Jesus comes to rule our world!
“Let Heaven and nature sing!”
And they will!
Speaking of Christmas music that really ain’t…
I love to listen to Handel’s “Messiah” this time of year! They play it on the radio and you can hear it in church concerts…But it wasn’t written for Christmas at all!
After taking only 24 days to write 240 pages, it was first played in Dublin on April 13(!) 1742 to raise money for helping guys in prison!
The first time it was played in London for the Royal family, when the first chords of the “Hallelujah Chorus” sounded, King George ll stood!
So did everyone else! And have every since!
Altho’ many believe he was just getting up to use the bathroom! (It’s a loooong concert!)
Others are convinced that he stood because he mistakenly thought he was hearing the “National Anthem”! (Not ours! Theirs!)
(I remember a few weeks ago, I was watching a game of the NFL and I was curious to see who was standing and who was kneeling during our anthem…Suddenly, I realized that, during our nation’s national anthem, I was lying on my couch! On my back! With my feet up! In my PJs! Yikes! Whether you think it’s right to stand or kneel, at least no one was lying on the back in their PJs! So apparently I’m not the one to judge!!)
And speaking of standing or not, there are those who don’t feel it’s right to stand during the “Hallelujah Chorus”. And they don’t.
The Boston Globe says there’s “…a silent showdown between the secularists who resolutely refuse to stand . . . and the traditionalists who rebuke them with looks of poison.’’
Those who remain seated say they love the music but don’t stand because they don’t believe the words.
I guess I don’t think they should stand.
If a person doesn’t believe in Jesus, it isn’t helpful…
and it’s only confusing…
for them to pretend like they do.
Maybe the day will come when they need to…
because they were allowed the freedom to say…
when they didn’t…
that they hadn’t!
In the “Messiah” Handel put to music all of the Scriptures about the promise and coming and life and death and resurrection of Jesus. The Hallelujah Chorus doesn’t come from the Christmas verses.
It comes from the Book of Revelation!
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said…
(Here’s the chorus!)
‘Hallelujah! The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever!” (Revelation 11)
It’s about the coming Day of all days…
When Jesus will come from Heaven for us!
And every eye will see Him!
And when we hear those words sung…
No one will sit!
And no one will stand!
“Every knee will bow, in Heaven and on earth and under the earth!”