Music and the Spoken Word

Joyful Anticipation - Sunday, November 25, 2018

This season of the year is a time of joyful anticipation. As summerís heat gives way to fallís vibrant colors, as planting and tending become reaping and harvesting, the season of thanks flows quite naturally into a season of generous giving.

Maybe thatís why we look forward so eagerly to Christmastimeóbecause at Christmas we tend to think more of others than ourselves. We extend more love; we offer more kindness; we give more time. We gather with loved ones and open our hearts to hope and faith. Even with winterís storms ahead, we feel the warmth of joyful anticipation that seems to be unique to Christmas. In fact, itís a Christmas tradition that goes back centuries.

Long ago, on a quiet, starry night in Bethlehem, the first Christmas became the fulfillment of a long-anticipated promise. Humble shepherds had looked forward to it. Noble Wise Men had awaited it. Indeed, all eternity watched in joyful anticipation, because the promise of Christmas gives us something wondrous to look forward to. It always seems to give us greater perspective, more willingness to set aside less important things, and more hope for good things to come.

So itís no wonder that Christmas has become the most eagerly anticipated season of the year. Phillips Brooks captured that feeling in these words:

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!
Christmas in lands of the fir tree and pine,
Christmas in lands of the palm tree and vine;
Christmas where snow-peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where corn-fields lie sunny and bright;
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!....

Christmas where peace, like a dove in its flight,
Broods oíer brave men in the thick of the fight;
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all,
No palace too great and no cottage too small.1

Yes, everyone can be touched by the joyful anticipation that Christmas brings. We need only open our hearts to its wonders and our homes to its peace and hope.
1 ďA Christmas Carol,Ē Christmas Songs and Easter Carols (1903), 17.
November 25, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,654

The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg

Andrew Unsworth

Lloyd Newell

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
George J. Elvey; arr. Mack Wilberg

All Things Bright and Beautiful
John Rutter

Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates, from Messiah
George Frideric Handel

Menuet Gothique, from Suite Gothique
Lťon BoŽllmann

Jesu, the Very Thought Is Sweet
Mack Wilberg

Sing a Christmas Carol, from Scrooge
Leslie Bricusse; arr. Michael Davis