Glad Tidings of Great Joy

By: Steve Negley

Posted: December 26, 2014

Category: Daily Devotional

Christmastide Reflections on the Scriptures and Christmas Songs

For a number of years now, I have only allowed myself to listen to the wonderful songs of Christmas during the Christmas season. (Somehow I have thought that such a practice will keep these songs fresh. It seems to work for me.)

I start my immersion into Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, and put my beloved CD’s away for another year right after Epiphany (January 6). With only twelve days left for my enjoyment of the songs of the season, I wanted to share how this incredible music helps me focus God’s gift to us in the Christ-child.

The first Christmas “album” that I listen to each year is almost always Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas. This collection of songs is the soundtrack to one of my favorite Christmas videos – A Charlie Brown Christmas. That Christmas show first aired on television in the mid-1960’s. Early in the CD play list we have the jazzy “Christmas is Coming”. The last song featured in the drama of the video is a rousing rendition of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” with the wonderful voices of the Peanuts characters. As I listen each year to each of these songs, I am mystically taken back in mind and spirit to the climax of this 22 minute TV special.

As Charlie Brown laments that Christmas has been too commercialized he cries out “Does anyone know what Christmas is all about?”. Linus steps up and responds, “I know what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” And then Linus reminds his friends, and all of us, of the special meaning of this day, as he shares these words from Luke:

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”


Wonderful God, as we listen closely during this holy season, help us to appreciate the great joy that we have been given through the birth of our Savior. That is indeed what Christmas is all about. Thanks for the gift. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.