SINGKIT - Notes from the editor (The Philippine Star) - December 22, 2013 - 12:00am

One of the nicest things about the Yuletide season is the music. All Christmas carols must surely have emanated from the chorus of the angels in the night sky that first Christmas in Bethlehem, when the heavenly multitudes announced the birth of the Christ to the shepherds and sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Unlike current hits that lose their popularity all too quickly, Christmas carols don’t fade or lose their appeal.

From the first Christmas song I ever learned “Away in a Manger” to the stirring “O Joyful Children,” from the traditional ditty “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” to the melodious “Pasko Na, Sinta Ko,” from the straightforward “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to Handel’s soaring “Hallelujah Chorus,” the songs of Christmas tell of the joy and majesty and wonder of the season, and year after year we sing them, we listen to them, and we never tire of them.

Every November I take my Christmas CDs from the shelf and listen to them in the car. It makes driving through the traffic – particularly when the streets are clogged, and these days that is usually the case,  and the motorcycles zig and zag in front of me and the jeepneys stop in the middle of the road and the container vans of Port Area are bent on squishing me or pushing me off the road – bearable, sometimes even enjoyable. Although I can barely carry a tune, in the car I can sing along to my heart’s content, the windows safely rolled up, and not even the cigarette vendor can accuse me of being sintonado.

O come all ye faithful

Joyful and triumphant

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem

It’s a call to come into the blessed presence of our Savior, a call to share in the wonder of God become man. What a wondrous invitation, totally undeserved but freely given. Like the shepherds we must come – as we are, from wherever we may be, field or office or home – and when we encounter the Babe, fall down in worship. 

Joy to the world

The Lord is come!

Let earth receive her king

That is the best headline ever. In all of history that is probably the best news ever proclaimed. And even back then, it was news for all the world, for the whole earth, not just for a people, even a chosen people.

And praises sing to God, the King

And peace to men on earth

The coming of this king was a game changer. Peace on earth, goodwill to men – what a revolutionary concept. In our world of seemingly constant strife, that is still the challenge before us – to seek peace, to make peace, and to bear goodwill to all men. Maligayang Pasko.






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