Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Heart Of Christmas

I got tagged at the blog My Heart On My Sleeve to list my five favorite Christmas songs, so here goes--in no particular order:

  • What Child Is This? (Roberta Flack Version)
  • Carol (First Call)
  • Mary Did You Know? (Michael English)
  • Do You Hear What I Hear? (Arranged by Su Elliott)
  • Jesus Christ Is Coming To Town (Su Elliott)
The Su Elliott tunes are from the close to a decade my husband and I spent singing with a vocal jazz (and just about every other variety of music known to man) and comedy troupe. We were always very busy at Christmas, and had a large Christmas repertoire, mostly written and/or arranged by Su, who was our intrepid leader. She'll be uncomfortable with me mentioning this, but she's an absolutely brilliant musician and songwriter. It was awfully fun getting to sing her arrangements.

Since we're on the subject of Christmas songs, here's one that didn't make my list, partly because I wrote it. (Su put it to music--brilliantly I might add.) It's probably not okay to have something you wrote yourself be one of your favorites, but I do love what it says, so I'll share it with you here:

The Heart Of Christmas

Candlelight on angels' wings
The cookies bake, the choir sings
A song of home and family love
And angels flying high above the city lights
Bringing joy to touch the heart at Christmas

A child in awe as wrappings fall
To reveal that longed-for doll
Or a puppy, or a treasured book
And all around the grownups look with smiles
And think they've touched the heart of Christmas

But the heart of Christmas is the need of man
The hand of God reached down to span
The gulf created by our sin
The Love of God shows the depth of grief
That can't be healed by what's beneath
The boughs of a pretty tree

Only the heart of Christmas can save us
Only the love which suffered such loss
Only our knowing that it was our needing forgiveness
That started His road to the cross

Candlelight on angels' wings
The cookies bake, the choir sings
A song of hope in Jesus' love
For Grace defines the meaning of His sacrifice
Bringing joy to touch the heart at Christmas

That's my view of the Christmas season. I love Christmas, but I just can't leave Jesus a baby in the manger. I have to let him grow up and take my place on the cross. I'm so grateful for that.

So now it's my turn to tag someone, and I pick Jay, from Truth Through The Fire. He's a musician, so I'm sure he has some opinions and favorites to offer us. He's been pretty busy lately, though, with law school final exams, so I'm not sure if he'll get to this, but let's give him the chance anyway, shall we? Tag. You're it, Jay.