I was listening to our local Christian radio station and a woman called in. She was lamenting that the station was playing Christmas music. Her argument went like this: I listen to your station as my time to get away from the world, my time to worship, my time to just get away from it all and focus on the Lord. She said she could listen to Christmas music on any other station and wished the Christian station remained faithful to inspirational Christian tunes. To which the disc jockey (if they're even called that anymore) replied, what better Christian music than Christmas music? It's kind of the ultimate - is it not? Also, if people are scanning the dial for Christmas music and find this station, they might stay for a while and like "the other stuff" - thus being evangelized.
My response? Is this really where we are? Christians can't even recognize inspiration in Christmas music? Christmas has become so secularized that even Christians can't recognize the meaning behind the music and use it as a time to worship the birth of our Saviour??? Granted, if we're talking about Jingle Bells, it may be more difficult. Aaaaaand, this Christian station does tend to play many Christmas songs that sound like they belong at a rock concert. Perhaps the radio station would do better to play more Christmas songs that are reverent to Christ's birth and help those of us out there driving around in our cars to experience inspiration in the "ultimate" Christian music. But even in those songs that are more kitschy, can we not find the meaning behind the words too? Music is such an amazing route to recall a memory, sight, sound, smell, or emotion. Shouldn't Christmas music recall a memory of Christmases past, a special family memory, attending mass, visiting a live nativity, and celebrating the birth of God's son born to a Virgin who said YES to God? This Advent season, let all of the secular decorations you see and music you hear remind you of that. You will catch yourself going throughout your day with a smile on your face because in the end, all we need is our Lord. This is a joyous time - a time to celebrate - just keep the true meaning behind it all on the forefront of your mind and in your heart. Of course, make sure your children do too. If you are a parent, it is your job to hand your faith on to your children. They will not learn it through osmosis. Talk to your children about this joyous time, and I bet even they will begin to think about the toys a little less and want to pray and worship our Lord a little more. Don't let yourself or anyone in your family be like the woman caller who has trouble seeing the true meaning of Christmas and the beauty in all of the ways we celebrate.
May you have a wonderful start to your Advent season. Don't forget it begins this weekend and don't forget to teach that to your children. Point out to them the new decorations that will be adorning your church as you attend mass this weekend....and play some Christmas music! Here's a start...one of my favorite songs...and it is reverent...and it recalls the TRUE meaning of Christmas: