Music and the Spoken Word: The miracle we call Christmas

Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Dec. 23, 2018.

The promise of Christmas is a promise of love. Consider all the love that is shared at Christmastime: in the giving of heartfelt gifts, in a visit or phone call from a loved one, even in a simple “Merry Christmas” from a stranger passing on the street.

Love is the oldest and richest of Christmas traditions, beginning with the first Christmas. Few tangible gifts were exchanged then, but there were many offerings of love. Angels gave their most heartfelt anthems. Shepherds offered pure belief. Wise men gave precious gifts that were really tokens of sincere worship. Joseph gave of his reputation, even of his hopes and expectations. Mary gave her whole soul, and the rest of her life, to be the mother of the Son of God. And the baby she bore was the purest expression of God’s love.

And what greater gift could God give us? For pure love can turn darkness into light, despair into hope, and doubt into faith. In the end, good triumphs over evil because of the love that came to earth on that first Christmas night. Indeed, love is the force behind the miracle we call Christmas.

Recently, several family members smiled as they remembered some of the gifts they received from their aging grandmother: earmuffs that never fit, flashlights that didn’t work, jewelry that quickly broke. But they knew she loved them. She looked them in the eyes. She held them close. She constantly reminded them how special they are. She was interested — and ever present — in their lives. All of this was more valuable than any gift she could buy.

This year, how will you ensure that family and friends feel loved at Christmastime? The answer might not have much to do with tinsel, trimmings, and gifts that will soon be dusted or even discarded. Instead, it may be found in this thought expressed by the poet Thomas Moore:

Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing

Earth has no sorrow but heav’n can remove.

Along with our Christmas meal and Christmas presents, let us this year prepare a “feast of love”— the kind of gift that is forever held in our hearts.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM, ksl.com, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143) and on the Tabernacle Choir's website and YouTube channel. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org.