[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eric Bailey lives in Prince Albert, greatly enjoys his wife and two sons, and is woven into the fabric of the Glen Elm Church of Christ in more than a couple ways.]
I grew up listening to Irish music. Mostly just the Irish Rovers and the Clancy Brothers. The Irish Rovers sang the silly songs and the funny songs while the Clancy’s sang about war and pride in their homeland. Even now the Irish Rovers are often remembered at Christmas for their great Christmas song, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” a moving song about the loss of a loved one and the dangers of letting just anyone drive a vehicle (or something like that).
A few years ago I was gathering some of the Christmas songs from my youth and on the same album by the Irish Rovers was this little song that captured my thoughts for Christmas time, “It Was A Night Like This.” I have not been able to find the song online by them but there is a Tom Paxton rendition of the song here:
As a Bible student I learned many of the problems with the different Christmas songs. Talking about snow, talking about Christmas Trees, the little Lord Jesus no crying he made and all those inaccuracies. This song has its problems with describing the Christmas scene but as it hits the chorus something happens and I find myself moved with the story of the birth of Jesus. This song describes it so clearly so succinctly “Nothing’s going to be the same in this whole world, everything changes tonight.”
Advent is when we are looking forward to Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the beginning of the earthly life for God in the flesh. Christmas is marking when history, when the fate of the world took a turn for the better. God entered the world in the form of a baby. I remember feeling like my parents did not understand as if they had never been my age. Our God, our creator changed history, experiencing life as we do before he sacrificed himself for us.
As we focus our minds on through the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love leading us to Christ my mind marks this with the lines from that song “Nothing’s going to be the same in this whole world, everything changes tonight.”
Luke 2:4-20 (NIV)
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.