December 22, 2106
Dear Friends in Christ,
Every year, we get reaquainted with our favorite Christmas carols. Which one is your favorite? This year, I’m reminded how The Wexford Carol is mine for a number of reasons, and not just because it’s Celtic in origin. The earliest versions are currently dated to the 12th century, written in county Wexford, Ireland. Recently it has grown in popularity and many versions exist and can be found in places like YouTube. Here are a few of my favorite arrangements:
- From the classical choirs, a version done by Kings College: youtu.be/7HItFqKBAQE
- A version by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: youtu.be/mbsjd7tRA7M
- And the most lovely sung version I’ve heard to date is the following rendition by Yo Yo Ma and Alison Kraus: youtu.be/yxDZjg_Igoc
What is it about Christmas carols that grab at our hearts and can stir the spirits of even the most stale and sullen souls? The simple story-telling of the Wexford Carol’s lyrics catch us by surprise, and the unusual syntax and choice of words are not what we usually hear when listening to songs about the basic Christmas story.
“Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
what our good God for us has done
in sending his beloved Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas day;
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born.”
How will you “consider well and bear in mind” the significance of what God did in sending his own Son for you? Throughout the great Twelve Days of Christmas, we will all have the opportunity to explore, through our devotions, the whole of the Christmas Story and unpack this mystery. On this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, particularly, my prayer is that you will meditate on the greatness of this mystery of faith, the significance of which is so personal to God and so personal to each one of us: he came for you.
A Blessed Christmas to you all,
+Bill and Sally Murdoch & family