Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Music and the Intersection of the Divine

The Christmas music has already started, and with all respect to the Christmas curmudgeons who scorn pre-Thanksgiving carols I love it!  Who made up that rule?  Why should we wait and then be limited to such a small window to getting into the Spirit of Christmas? Today, I thought I'd share a little about the nature of Christmas music as it relates to the Incarnation of Christ.  

In the insert to Sufjan Stevens' "Songs for Christmas" collection, he points out that there is something different about Christmas music.  Christmas music seems to reflect the Incarnation it celebrates.  Just as the birth of Christ is an intersection of divine and human, so its music seems to touch a special place in the human soul.  We react differently to Christmas music than to anything else.  I can't really explain it.  I liken it to what C.S. Lewis calls "Joy," an intense desire that nothing in this world can fulfill and is itself greater than any pleasure in this world.  Christmas music makes my heart long for eternity in a way that nothing else does.  

If you aren't familiar with Sufjan Stevens, you really should get acquainted with his music.  It is different, but beautiful in a profound way.  If you want to start getting into the Christmas spirit early, pick up this Christmas collection.  

Speaking of Incarnation, now is a good time to dig in and study the nature of God descending to earth to reveal Himself to us.  Think about reading John 1:1-14.  Or, if you really want to geek out, you can download and read my thesis: Incarnation and the Nature of Miracle.  This is a shameless plug, but it may be of interest if you have ever wondered what it means that God became flesh.


  1. Aren't you glad I recommended this collection to you? At least, I think I did. I definitely had it first.

    By the way, the British don't have Thanksgiving, so they don't bother with that stupid rule. I start phasing Christmas music into my daily listening somewhere around Halloween, often with a day of it in the summer.

  2. Yes, not only did you have it first, I technically still don't have the collection. I've only borrowed it from you. It is on my Amazon wish list. By the way, what do you want for Christmas?