One of the things I love most about Christmas is the music. Many of the songs we sing at this time of year are carols written hundreds of years ago. They still have relevance for our culture and touch a place deep in our hearts with the hope and truth that they proclaim. But just like Christmas itself, the music is never static, and each generation reinterprets the themes into something unique and just as meaningful. I’ve found much to appreciate in modern songs as well. My favorite source for modern and reinvented Christmas carols is Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I own all of their Christmas albums and try to make time each year to listen to all of them. I was fortunate to be able to see them in concert a few years ago when they performed my favorite story, “Lost Christmas Eve.” Their format of a concept album in which all the songs weave together with a narrative to tell a story is very appealing and it allows them to deliver a much stronger message than a random collection of Christmas songs would.
The best way to enjoy a Trans-Siberian Orchestra is with a lot of time, the liner notes, and a mug of whatever hot beverage you like. In the liner notes are all the lyrics for the songs (in case you can’t understand something over the guitar licks) as well as the narrative story that connects the songs together. It’s absolutely imperative to read through this, especially for the first few times you listen to the tracks. The message of hope and redemption really shine through when you understand the story to the song.
“Lost Christmas Eve” is a powerful story of a man who finds new life and hope one snowy Christmas Eve when he visits the son he had abandoned at birth because he was handicapped. Having rejected his son for seemingly not having his father’s or God’s likeness in his physical frame, he is now startled to find his son radiates more of God’s character than he ever had. The following stanzas from the liner notes capture the moment when the father realizes the truth that he or his son was never abandoned by God.
So he was now alone in the darkness
Between the past and future caught
Not knowing what to do
As his mind flooded with so many thoughts
Some beauty comes too early
While its moment never waits
And some beauty is always there
But never seen, till it’s too late
Look! there is a moment
It has just slipped away
And so we lose our lives
In such ordinary ways
Where do we get our dreams from?
Where do we get our faith?
Is it something that we are born with
Or is it something for which we must wait?
The mist of things we once believed
The childhood truths for which we grieve
And in our lives could we have missed
Those that in the dark, the angels kiss
I hope that the lyrics are a blessing to you and an encouragement to look for the small ordinary miracles this Christmas… the embrace of a loved one, the smell of fresh pine, the fall of fresh snow… the comfort of a stable.
Blessings to you,