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Music Notes - December 2020

Posted by communications on December 10, 2020 at 12:40 AM

As this very difficult year draws to a close and we focus once more on our Lord’s arrival in the manger at Bethlehem, may our hearts be lifted up and our eyes and minds be opened to all that his coming to us means. In Christ despair can change to hope; grief to joy and the victory over death is won for us. Perhaps, from all that we have seen, felt and gone through this year we might have new perspectives on many things. Perhaps, that new perspective will be gained from someone you know and love or maybe from a stranger.


I was reading stories about the origins of some of our most-beloved Christmas carols and came across a touching note about the man who wrote the words for “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. The Rev. Phillip Brooks (1835-1893) was an author, the longtime rector of Boston’s Trinity Church and briefly, the bishop of Massachusetts. In 1865, he went to the Holy Land and was very moved by a Christmas Eve service at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. A few years later his church in Philadelphia was in need of a Christmas song for the children’s service. He decided to write one himself and that is how this wonderful and beloved carol came to be. A touching anecdote shared about a five-year-old girl in his former church might be that help to gain a new perspective mentioned earlier. The girl was upset because she hadn’t seen Bishop Brooks recently. When her mother gently told the girl that he had gone to heaven, the girl’s face brightened as she said: “Oh, Mama, how happy the angels will be!”


May God give us all this kind of faith and may he bless you and your family with peace.


Merry Christmas!

Peace,

John

 

 

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