“Silence, now, silence, please!” the conductor called out, tapping his baton on the music stand. It took a couple of minutes, but silence finally came to the auditorium. The eyes of both musicians and singers locked on the conductor. “Thank you, I wanted to let you know that the city council finally decided on the five carols for us. We will begin with Oh Come Emmanuel, followed by Silent Night, What Child is This, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and finally, Carol of the Bells. Let’s begin now.” The conductor raised his arms, and the orchestra began
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel. The way they sang the song made it sound like a people longing for their Savior, asking Him to come quickly. It seemed the song transported them back in time to an age full of sorrow and darkness, full of a yearning for joy and light. They called for their King, their God, their Savior again and again, longing for the day in which He would come.
Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright. Everything became still, almost quiet, as the world lay in breathless waiting, somehow knowing that the One longed for, asked for, was coming into the world. A bright star seemed to light up the night, keeping the promise of light and joy for a desperate people. But only a few saw this for most were asleep, concerned with the ways of the world. When day dawned, they would go about their normal, day-to-day routine, never knowing, never guessing that the One they kept going to the temple to ask about was there in their midst.
What Child is this who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping. What Child is this indeed? Only a few minutes old, and already He suffers from the cold, the wind, and the darkness. How could this Child be the One to rescue the world, the One to wipe away tears and send fears flying? True, He will grow into a man, but it is hard to see that now, watching Him lie in His Mother’s arms as a tiny, helpless Babe. What manner of rescue is this that requires a woman to birth the Savior, Someone so powerful that He needed to only appear, and that was that? But this is the path He chose, to show us the way back home.
Hark, the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King! Peace and joy and light comes to Earth, for the angels have announced that the Child who has been born is the One! Rejoice, rejoice, for He has come! Go to Him, all ye lowly, go to Him, all ye sorrowful, go to Him, all ye faithful! Rejoice, rejoice, for the wait is over, soon the gates of heaven shall open for all who follow His way!
Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away. Throw them away, let the bells swing them from your mind! Bottle them up, crumble them up and toss them to the side, there’s no time for sorrow! With the angels, the bells are singing the coming of the newborn King! Jump and cheer to the tolling of the bells, for Jesus Christ is here!
The conductor turns around and bows, indicating the end of the program. The crowd stands and applauds with enthusiasm, the orchestra has taken them through many moods, through time, and even through space to different places. What a treat on Christmas Eve!