Thursday, December 16, 2010

Music in the Aire

One of the things I enjoy most about this time of year is the music.  It might sound a tad silly, but I just can't get enough of Christmas music.  I have four Pandora stations soothing my ears with various Christmas tunes all day at work, and there's a great Christmas broadcast over the FM airwaves when we're driving too.  I dig the classics, the hymns, the modern rock stuff (Gary Hoey does an amazing rendition of "Linus and Lucy"), and especially the carols.  Even though we can get these tunes any day of the year, there's something special about combining Christmas music with the palpable anticipation of the celebration of Jesus' birth.  Anyone can raid the pantry for a spoonful of sugar, but combining sugar with chocolate chips, flour, eggs, and butter makes for an entirely new creation far greater than the individual parts.  And so it is with the music of the season--it's best enjoyed with decorations in the home and neighborhood, presents under a tree, and Salvation Army bell ringers at the stores.  Besides, reserving "The First Noel," "Joy to the World," O Night Divine," "Silent Night," "What Child is This," and dozens of others for this one time of year just makes them a little more meaningful.

On Sunday my wife and I went to a Christmas music celebration put on by First Baptist Church right near downtown, and even though we have been to a fair number of choral performances, this one was really special. A massive assembly of choir singers from congregations around the city, augmented by an orchestra, sang Christmas songs and hymns proclaiming the birth of our Lord and Savior long into the night.  We sat in the balcony and had an excellent view of the proceedings, which included Bible readings between each song to give a context for how many classic carols fit into the Christmas story and, ultimately, the Lord's plan of salvation for all mankind.  From time to time the audience was asked to join in, and hearing the voices and music soar far beyond the old wooden church rafters was a pretty incredible experience.  Afterwards we met up with one of my wife's colleagues who was singing in the choir and it was cool to talk about the rehearsals and the final performance.  Even though there's no snow on the ground here in Oklahoma, it's stuff like this that helps make the Christmas season seem all the more real.

On a completely unrelated note, this is a picture I took last week as the sun was coming up right before I left for work.  I brought our little Canon point-n-shoot out into the backyard and attempted to catch the majesty of the sun beginning its daily ascent as its beams shot through the morning mists and frosty air.  The picture doesn't exactly do the scene justice, but it's better than nothing.  You can click it for a larger version, but really, you kind of had to be there.  :)

Minnesota residents: note the lack of snow.
Any time you want to come down,
Oklahoma welcomes you with open arms. :)

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