Music and the Spoken Word

Love Comes at Christmas - Sunday, December 10, 2017

More than a hundred years ago, the beloved English poet Christina Rossetti wrote a simple yet thought-provoking Christmas poem:

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.1

In just a few short words, this poem captures the essence of this most wonderful time of year. Why do we give without thought of getting at Christmastime? Why do we sing carols of joy? Why are we more likely at this season to open our hearts in kindness and compassion? Why do we think of others more than we think about ourselves? Indeed, generosity and goodness seem to be in the air and all around us because “Love came down at Christmas.”

We’ve all felt it.

Many years ago, a young mother was bustling to prepare her home and family for Christmas. Special treats needed to be made, presents needed to be wrapped, the house needed to be cleaned. In the midst of these frenzied preparations, the doorbell rang. A friend of one of the children was at the door with a homemade Christmas gift. With all the love in his heart, the little boy had done his best to sew a pillowcase for his friend. Love radiated from the boy’s face as he delivered this simple expression of kindness.

Almost instantly, the mood in the home changed. The world seemed to slow down, and love entered in. And with that love came warmth, gentleness, and kindness. The young mother now saw that there was only one thing she really needed to do to prepare her family for Christmas—she needed to love them.

The love we experience at this time of the year is but a reflection of the “Love Divine” that came down at Christmas so long ago. And as we receive and share that love, it comes down still, every Christmas.

-Lloyd D. Newell
1. “Christmastide,” Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems (2001), 423.

December 10, 2017
Broadcast Number 4,604

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg
Ryan Murphy

Richard Elliott

Lloyd Newell

Christmas Is Coming
English carol; arr. Mack Wilberg

How Far Is It to Bethlehem?
English carol; arr. Mack Wilberg

Let Earth Receive Her King!
Richard Elliott

One December, Bright and Clear
Catalonian carol; arr. Mack Wilberg

O Little Town of Bethlehem
Lewis H. Redner; arr. Leroy Robertson

What Shall We Give?
Catalonian carol; arr. Mack Wilberg

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Felix Mendelssohn; arr. Mack Wilberg