Thought for the Day by Anna Bland (All Hallows’)
Christmas music has a special place in all our hearts: we may be filled with festive cheer when we hear the first rendition of Jingle Bell Rock on the radio, or relish the pleasant annual feeling of irritation that we heard the first Christmas song even earlier this year.
For me when thinking about Christmas music that has meant something to me over the years Away in a Manger was definitely a contender. I remember the satisfaction when I realised I knew all the words off by heart as a small child. Joy to the World has truly brought a palpable sense of joy in every Christmas Day Eucharist over the years.
However, for me, in recent years the Christmas song that gives me shivers is ‘Oh Holy Night’. This has coincided with a sense of wonder and fascination with the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus. The more I think about it the more mystifying and wonderful it seems. My faith is always plagued with doubt but even on my most doubtful of days I am astonished even by the concept that God would become part of the human reality and for me this song encapsulates my own wonder perfectly.
The particular line that always gets me is ‘he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth’, the significance of Christmas summed up so simply and powerfully.
A couple of versions for you to enjoy, a classic version and a pentatonix version: