Advent | Day 20

Friday, December 16

  • Psalms 40, 51, 54
  • Zechariah 7.8-8.8
  • Revelation 5.6-14
  • Matthew 25.14-30

I love music . . . all kinds! My great regret is that I cannot play an instrument nor do I have a great singing voice. But music moves me as it does us all. Music is, as I heard someone say recently, a bridge of empathy from one heart to another. I find that especially true at Christmas. I can feel the fun of a song like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and spiritually be moved by songs like “O Holy Night.” From Thanksgiving to New Years Day, I enjoy listening to the music of the season, and truth be known, any time of the year. Probably the highlight for me is Christmas at Belmont where the School of Music’s orchestra and choruses bring to full bloom the music of Christmas.
In my house on Christmas morning, I try to have music playing as the children and grandchildren come down to open their presents. I like to sit back with a cup of coffee and watch as wrapping paper flies, hear the squeals of joy of receiving an unexpected gift, and the hugs of appreciation.

With all this excitement going on, one song will suddenly rise above the rest. It is a song that you probably have not heard, but one that will bring a tear to my eyes every time I hear it, “Happy Birthday Jesus”. The song is performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s Children’s Chorus with the orchestra. It begins with the young voices singing happy birthday to Jesus, and then this sweet little voice takes the solo and in the lyric the child is thankful and happy for all that is Christmas concluding with the reminder that the real gift is Jesus.
Looking back to the birth of Jesus and forward to his return as Lord of all, we read in Revelation 5.9 of the singing of a new song. A song that reminds us that Christ was slain for our sins and through his blood we are all kings and priests to our God.

This Christmas season as you celebrate with family and friends, carry these closing lines from the Children’s Choir song:

“All the carols and bells make the holiday swell, and it’s all
about YOU. Happy Birthday Jesus! Jesus, I love You.”

Harry Chapman
Director of Development and Major Gifts

You can access an online version of the 2011 Advent Guide (presented annually be Belmont’s School of Religion) at:




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