Do you love Christmas? Do you love Christmas carols? The day after Thanksgiving, the fall decorations vanish and the Christmas tree and decor emerge from our storeroom. Jenny loves building up the tree and then lavishly placing “the goods” on almost every branch. The lights go on, the house lights dim and the beauty of the tree is stunning. With this anticipated event comes the music. This music invades every corner of our home–even the outdoors, as I’m not a “quiet” listener. The tears come; the lyrics jar memories from days gone by. And I cry. The overwhelming melodies with their beautiful wording overwhelms me with JOY!
Steven Curtis Chapman is one of my all-time favorite singers. He has a way with music, with words and with people. He is a lover of God and a lover of people. Listen, won’t you, to one of his Christmas arrangements:
I hope it got you into the Christmas spirit today. It certainly did me. Now, about this song………..
It was written in 1816, a gentleman by the name of James Montgomery. As a six-year old little boy, he was left at a boarding school in Scotland for his Moravian missionary folks (Dad, a pastor) journeyed to Barbados to spread the gospel in that land. There they perished and little James never saw them again. He eventually moved to England, drifting for a few years, yet realized he was gifted in writing and poetry. He began working for a local newspaper, the Sheffield Register, which was a very political paper. James soon purchased the paper and renamed it the Sheffield Iris. The former owner fled the country for political persecution. James became a celebrity, being thrown into prison, more than once, for his political stance on the issues. He was a bold Christian and he made his views known. Hallelujah! Perhaps the loss of his parents caused him to be even more devoted to Christ, getting the “good news” out for the world to hear. He, too, promoted foreign missions and endorsed the British Bible Society. James became one of the most respected citizens in Sheffield, his writings eagerly read by the paper’s followers. (From the book, Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan.)
On Christmas Eve, in 1816, as James was reading the Christmas passage of Luke 2, he gazed upon verse 13. He wrote out a Christmas poem and by the end of the day this was read inside his newspaper. Later on it was set to music and on Christmas Day, 1821, “Angels from the Realms of Glory” was sung at a Moravian Church in England.
Steven Curtis sang this beautiful song to a new arrangement. I love it! I hope you do, too!
Now, about that hard candy. Matthew asked me a few days ago if we were going to have his favorite Christmas candy again this year. I said yes. It’s about the easiest thing to make.
2 musts: a candy thermometer, oil flavoring and you’re set. For the recipe:
Merry Christmas! (That felt good! I haven’t said it yet!:) )