Christmastime simply would not be Christmastime without music.
Songs are a part of our collective conscious each December. Everywhere we go—school, church, the movies, the mall, even Walmart—yuletide tunes playlist over public speakers, chorusing strains of peace on earth and good will toward men.
Yes, the seasonal shuffle is inevitable. Choir concerts. Basketball games. Family reunions. Service to our neighbors, the needy, our churches. The most anticipated month on our calendars is often one of the most anxiety-ridden as well. But even in our panic-inducing, communal craziness, music gifts us with a moment to pause, to reflect, and in our minds and hearts, take communion.
The cry of, “Clean up on Aisle 10,” heard over the grocery store intercom turns into a exquisite chorus of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” “Joy to the World” sounds out over the Starbucks’ speaker, reminding a line of over-worked, under-caffeinated patrons that the next shot of espresso—though spiritual—is not imperative to life. Even a backseat of arguing children quiets to a hush as Ella Fitzgerald songbirds “Silent Night, Holy Night” over the radio waves.
It’s as if our entire culture is readying itself for communion, and music sets the table.
As three of the modern church’s most distinctive artists, worship leaders and songwriters, Chris Tomlin, Keith and Kristyn Getty and Jon and Valerie Guerra have spent much of their creative efforts writing and administering music that helps set the table for communion. So though I would otherwise discourage it, silence the CD player, turn down Spotify, shut down your smart phone, and take a minute to join the rhythm of our conversation in an effort to prepare our hearts and minds for Christmas, and communion. You might just find yourself humming along.
O come let us adore him. O come let us adore him. O come let us adore him. Christ the Lord.