Long ago, when I was young, in a public high school in Ohio, a remarkable teacher taught his classes a wide range of vocal music. At one point, we learned Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Cantata: “To Us a Child is Given.”
It transforms the generic Holly Jolly to the particular reason for the season. The birthday of Jesus. There is an aria for Alto called: “Jesus, praise I bring” that rather sums it up:
I rejoice in my salvation, in Thy birthday celebration overwhelming comfort find.
There is overwhelming comfort to be found with the birth of Jesus. His coming was foretold in the Old Testament. He came to do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves. No matter how hard we try, or how good we are, we all fall short of what we are to do and who we are to be. The little baby born in the manger, became the man Jesus who allowed himself to be nailed to a cross, so that we might all have life and have it abundantly.
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The final chorale in the Christmas Cantata has these words:
Alleluia, Alleluia, give praise to our Lord, in song together join in deep emotion; for God today has brought such joy that every hour increases our devotion.
A Blessed Christmas to you and to all you hold dear. Join me in taking a moment to give thanks today for the baby Jesus who was born into this world for our salvation. Thanks be to God!