Jesus Born On This Day
And so I’ve come to song number four, and the last of the “joy”-filled songs of my Christmas list. The remaining three are more solemn…sacred…hushed. But one must not overlook the joy of this day or this season. Not just the joys of businesses making their profits for the year or office parties or reunions of friends and family. No, the joy I’m talking about it the joy that comes with hope. The indelible hope that came with the birth of a child over 2,000 years ago. While “Joy To The World” did not make my top ten, it didn’t miss it by far. Because, after all, that is the element that above all we must embrace at Christmas. No matter the number of gifts under the tree, or the circumstances of our lives, Christmas is a time to take our eyes off of ourselves and look through Time itself…back to the manger and ahead to Calvary and beyond. You can see shadows of it easily enough by the motions we go through when we put money in the Salvation Army kettle, by an anonymous gift for our church’s Angel Tree, or various other more-than-worthy causes. But to fuel our fire and to keep us going the other 364 days of the year we need a spark. That spark is our joy. And Christmas is when we light it anew.
Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given, when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes. – Joan Winmill Brown
I’ve been listening to Avalon’s Christmas CD Joy since it came out in 2000. The entire album is a showcase of the incredible vocal talents of the four group members, but a few songs have always stood out. This song is the one, only slightly beating out a wonderful acapella tune from that album, “Good News.” Until just a few weeks ago while researching this top ten list did I learn that my selection for number four was written by Mariah Carey. I like Avalon’s arrangement and Janna Long’s voice absolutely shines. At the three minute mark of this song it seems as if it just rockets off into a whole other level with a deep breath and a booming exhalation. This is a song I love to play Christmas morning when the air is crisp, all is yet still, and everything seems new and alive with promise.
This leaves me with three more songs and this was the last of the more “non-traditional” tunes on my list. Unfortunately, and despite my planning this list out ahead of time, yesterday I had a “headslap to the forehead” moment when I realized that I was omitting what for me is one of THE mandatory songs for the season. So I have four songs to squeeze into three slots. I may have a 1a and 1b. I’ve got a few days to figure it out, eh? Thanks for coming with me this far.