Advent: Looking Like Christmas

Services

Sunday - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM Worship Service

by: Denise Robinson

12/24/2021

0

"Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors."  (Luke 2:14).


There's an old saying, "Take time to stop and smell the roses." Perhaps we need to expand that old adage at Christmas to bring in even more of our senses. After all, Christmas is a time when everything in our world seems to change. Homes and businesses are decorated; there are colorful lights on every block; holiday events at schools; community celebrations, parades, parties, special services at almost every church; and holiday music plays from loudspeakers. During this time of year, people seem to be more outgoing, and there really is a spirit of goodwill in the air. And none of this would be happening if not for the birth of a child named Jesus. 

During the cold winter's days of 1950, Broadway songwriter Meredith Wilson (think "The Music Man") took in the wonders of Christmas in New York. The Iowa native noted Santas on every corner, snowflakes falling, bells ringing, and bundled-up kids staring into storefront windows. Ten months later, when on vacation at the Grand Hotel in Nova Scotia, Wilson combined his memories of the holiday from his rural youth with those he had noted in the Big Apple the previous year and wrote "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." 

The tune was originally inserted into a Broadway musical that closed not long after opening. This upbeat look at the holidays might have been lost forever if Perry Como had not been one of the few who caught the show. In 1951, the popular television host recorded Wilson's song and it became an instant holiday classic. 

People were probably drawn to "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" for two reasons. Wilson created a song that happily captured the magic of the season. Its lyrics made people smile. The other reason was the popularity of Perry Como, and the warm, upbeat, and joyful way he sang the song. The combination of these two things is a great lesson for us as well, as we not only remember the magic of Christmas but take time to enter into the warmth and joy of the birth of Christ. If you believe that Christmas is the beginning of the greatest story ever told, then smiling and showing joy should come naturally. 

Ace Collins tells a story that took place in 1906, when Reginald Fessenden, an inventor from Pittsburgh, developed a radio transistor that could broadcast the human voice. Though it might seem mundane now, it was thought impossible at the time. On Christmas Eve, Fessenden tried his invention for the first time. That evening, wireless operators on ships, in newsrooms, and at railroad stations, waiting for Morse code signals, were shocked to hear a voice reading the second chapter of Luke. As he finished the scripture, Fessenden picked up his violin and played this carol, the first song to be broadcast on wireless radio:

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
it is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope - the weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
"Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors."  (Luke 2:14).


There's an old saying, "Take time to stop and smell the roses." Perhaps we need to expand that old adage at Christmas to bring in even more of our senses. After all, Christmas is a time when everything in our world seems to change. Homes and businesses are decorated; there are colorful lights on every block; holiday events at schools; community celebrations, parades, parties, special services at almost every church; and holiday music plays from loudspeakers. During this time of year, people seem to be more outgoing, and there really is a spirit of goodwill in the air. And none of this would be happening if not for the birth of a child named Jesus. 

During the cold winter's days of 1950, Broadway songwriter Meredith Wilson (think "The Music Man") took in the wonders of Christmas in New York. The Iowa native noted Santas on every corner, snowflakes falling, bells ringing, and bundled-up kids staring into storefront windows. Ten months later, when on vacation at the Grand Hotel in Nova Scotia, Wilson combined his memories of the holiday from his rural youth with those he had noted in the Big Apple the previous year and wrote "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." 

The tune was originally inserted into a Broadway musical that closed not long after opening. This upbeat look at the holidays might have been lost forever if Perry Como had not been one of the few who caught the show. In 1951, the popular television host recorded Wilson's song and it became an instant holiday classic. 

People were probably drawn to "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" for two reasons. Wilson created a song that happily captured the magic of the season. Its lyrics made people smile. The other reason was the popularity of Perry Como, and the warm, upbeat, and joyful way he sang the song. The combination of these two things is a great lesson for us as well, as we not only remember the magic of Christmas but take time to enter into the warmth and joy of the birth of Christ. If you believe that Christmas is the beginning of the greatest story ever told, then smiling and showing joy should come naturally. 

Ace Collins tells a story that took place in 1906, when Reginald Fessenden, an inventor from Pittsburgh, developed a radio transistor that could broadcast the human voice. Though it might seem mundane now, it was thought impossible at the time. On Christmas Eve, Fessenden tried his invention for the first time. That evening, wireless operators on ships, in newsrooms, and at railroad stations, waiting for Morse code signals, were shocked to hear a voice reading the second chapter of Luke. As he finished the scripture, Fessenden picked up his violin and played this carol, the first song to be broadcast on wireless radio:

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
it is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope - the weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
cancel save

0 Comments on this post: