Music and the Spoken Word

A Feast of Love - Sunday, December 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.1

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.
1 “Come, Ye Disconsolate,” Hymns, no. 115.
December 23, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,658

The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Bells on Temple Square

Mack Wilberg

Bells Conductor
LeAnna Willmore

Andrew Unsworth

Lloyd Newell

Joy to the World
Lowell Mason; arr. Leroy J. Robertson

Child of Light
Mack Wilberg

Christmas Bells Are Ringing
Robert P. Manookin

Carol of the Drum
Katherine K. Davis; arr. Mack Wilberg

Come, All Ye Shepherds
Czech carol; arr. Andrew Unsworth

Bernard de La Monnoye; arr. Cathy Moklebust

Still, Still, Still
Austrian carol; arr. Mack Wilberg

Hallelujah, from Messiah
George Frideric Handel