I’m singing in the Carols for Christmas Choir this year. Even though I’m a bah humbug, holiday hoopla curmudgeon, I can’t help but be inspired by the HOPE that is Christmas. But it is the more solemn messages in the Christmas story that speak most to me. Last Sunday, our Choir Director, Suzanne Tucker, explained to us that one of the songs is like it’s own movie script and we, the singers, must paint the picture that tells the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. It’s a story of trial and tribulation and near desperation, and then triumph and joy and hope. I love that story.
It reminds me of a very dear song I learned years ago in my younger choir days. The song has stuck with me because it is so beautiful and mystical. But the story behind the story is even more beautiful.
A Christmas hymn created by a Minnesota composer years ago grew out of the life and death struggle of his three-year-old son. The good news is the child survived, and the hymn went on to become a big favorite.
The words are inspired from Revelation. While Ruth and Paul Manz kept vigil over their ill son, they pondered words from Revelation 22:
Peace be to you and grace from Him who freed us from our sins. Who loved us all and shed his blood that we might saved be. Sing holy, holy to our Lord, the Lord almighty God, who was and is and is to come, sing holy, holy Lord
The song is called ‘E’en so Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.” It speaks of the longing of the coming of the Christ. Paul Manz, an accomplished organist and musical composer put the words to music and it was and is a big hit in the choral world. It speaks to my heart and soul and the true spirit of Christmas.
I would prefer to skip the shopping frenzy, the ridiculous sugar invasion and the crazy Christmas sweaters. But I will wait in prayer and praise and hopefulness for the birth of our Savior and the hope of the world to come.