It's easy to fall almost deaf to the music of this time of year. In my mind there are Christmas songs and Christmas hymns, but at a certain point they become one and the same.
In a way, I think this is a wonderful thing. For all the other meanings (some good, some bad) we might ascribe to Dec. 25, the deeper purpose of this holiday will always be to celebrate of the birth of Jesus Christ.
(Seriously, we're celebrating "Christ's Mass.")
So when secular artists are singing "Silent Night" or "Joy to the World," it's a wonderful thing. They're spreading a message they may not even intend, to audiences who might not listen otherwise.
On the other hand, though, I sometimes fail to stop and listen to the real messages of these songs. I think we all do. Our reaction can be more like, "Oh, listen, a Christmas song. That makes me so happy."
But at that point, there's really no difference in "Frosty the Snowman" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain."
One song that never happens with, though, is "O Holy Night." It's long been my favorite Christmas hymn but the older I get, the more I think it might just be my favorite song -- period.
I don't think I can ever hear or sing that song without really soaking it all in, perhaps even getting a little choked up.
I don't know if there's a single line of a song more moving to me than "Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth." It always makes me feel so joyful and yet so insignificant and unworthy in the face of the Almighty. God's grace is a powerful thing, to say the least.
But it's really the whole song. I just love it. No matter how many times I hear it this time of year or any time of year, I have to stop and just let the emotions of it all wash over me.
If it does the same for you, this video should be especially meaningful. Even if it doesn't, enjoy a darn good Christmas song anyway.
If you'd like to enjoy Bing telling you a story before the song, click on this one.