Thursday, December 22, 2016

Music for My Heart

"My heart is stirred by a beautiful song" (Psalm 45:1 God Speaks Interactive Bible NET).

I love this translation of Psalm 45:1. Truly that is how I feel about Christmas music.When I hear a familiar song my heart takes me back to a memory from the past. Sometimes it brings tears; sometimes it lifts me to happiness. Either way, my heart is stirred with the meaning of Christmas.

For many years my father, Corwin Springer, was automatically penciled in as a soloist for our church's Christmas Eve service. I remember as if it was yesterday, his last performance of "O Holy Night" in the front of our church, trying to steady himself with his cane. I also remember the following year when I so proudly listened to our pastor's son, Dan, sing it beautifully.

Christmas music is so closely tied to my family that I can't separate the feelings. Daddy sang with the Marshalltown performance of Handel's "The Messiah" for several decades. I grew up attending the annual presentation in the beautiful First Methodist Church and the songs are forever in my heart. It has been difficult for me to return to the event since Daddy is gone. Mama is included in the memories because she would play the piano for Daddy when he practiced at home and she was always in the audience. She, too, is gone; accompanied by the "Hallelujah!" Chorus as she left the church for the last time.

One contemporary song that has touched my heart for several years is, "Not That Far From Bethlehem" by Point of Grace. One Christmas season a trio of voices from our church sang this so beautifully. I think of this especially this year as I remember Jodeen Beeghly's alto voice, with Cynthia Moore and Denise Hoy. Jodeen is singing with the angels in heaven this year.

When our family gathered at Mom and Dad's for Christmas we often spent time around the piano singing carols. And the annual caroling day with the church was always a very special time. That is another event I can't yet return to without my parents. Music touches so deeply that emotions are nearly always awakened and moved.

"Silent Night" will always remind me of the human circle with candles around our church sanctuary at the end of our Christmas Eve service each year. The sanctuary is gone now; only memories of it remain.

This Messianic psalm describes God's blessing upon our Savior, Jesus Christ. "My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever" (Psalm 45:1-2 NIV).

May music bless your Christmas season with meaning and with joy for Jesus our Savior is reason to sing!

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