The Song Only Christmas Can Sing

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2: 10

The Christmas Song

Even that first Christmas, not everyone listened.

Yes, shepherds and wise men hurried to the stable. And warmed by hay-breathed beasts, his love-struck mother leaned close. Just a handful of strangers gazed at a manger, as one star hung low, over the infant below.

Missing Christmas

No doubt, cross the yard, the innkeeper sat hunched over his figures, muttering at taxes and costly repairs. Bedbugs ruin business, as do drunken brawls, heard through the walls. Maybe, for a moment, a strange, ethereal sound made him look up, and he wondered if on top of it all his hearing was going, and wasn’t that how his own dad expired, stone-deaf and tired?

And, we can assume, at least one of his guests tossed and turned in a room, sweat-scented with travelers, come for the census. For the Emperor decreed that all would be counted, and taxes mounted to pay for his glory and luxurious dreams. (Still today, drunk with power, kings are driven by greed to take more than they need).

And that guest maybe wondered why the dark sky grew lighter, a bright beam through the window making it difficult to sleep. They should do something about that, she perhaps moaned to her mattress, a tear wetting her cheek because nothing seemed right, especially at night.

And when a soft baby’s cry disturbed the earth’s slumber, and the angels wondered at Love’s stooping to free us, so we could finally be us (as God planned all along), and burst into song:

“We bring Good News of Great Joy—all of you! Come,  forgotten or famous, broken or bullied, suffering or self-satisfied, deaf, blind, or bitter—listen! The one who will save you—from your own prickly pride, from the darkness that will swallow you, from the mob bent on hardening your once tender heart—to all weary-worn, Christ is born!”

It’s interesting to ponder, just how few responded; the rest just turned over, a pillow on their head, the sleep of the dead.

And this Christmas, will you listen?

This year, as you scroll through internet madness, or search for mall parking, and wonder if this Christmas you’ll stay sober, or if anyone even knows or cares you exist–will you listen? For Jesus is beside you, whispering through your fear, “I am here.”

The carolers still gather, and birds in the chill morning are still singing to Him. The Christmas tree points skyward, the candle flames upward. And if you tune out the chaotic, cruel clamor, and quiet your mind, there you’ll find,

piercing the silence, a song clear and true, calling to you with good news to tell—

All is well.

All is Well, Michael W. Smith


18 thoughts on “The Song Only Christmas Can Sing

  1. M.E. Armbruster

    I needed this today my friend!! Thank you for the reminder! I love you and miss you! May we all be reminded of what really matters and not just roll over in our fatigue and go back to sleep!
    Merry Christmas Janet and Dave!

  2. Ted Martinson

    Great job, Janet. This should be published on the front page of every newspaper in the country. One of my favorite & best you’ve written. So you did stay up & finish it!

  3. Lily Frost

    I had a special time of worship after I read this, my friend. Keep up your writing. Your voice is an important one!

  4. Sharol Josephson

    It’s so good to have you writing again! Such a wonderful piece. Thank you. Much love to you this Christmas, dear friend. I miss you…but your words make you feel closer.

  5. Cecilia

    Janet, Thank you for writing and sharing your beautiful words. I’ve missed your writing, the way you express truth. I am pondering now. Merry Christmas, my friend. Xoxo

  6. Cretia martinson

    Thank you so much for posting your beautiful thoughts put beautifully into words. I’ve missed your posts. My prayer would be that the would could see what you post.

  7. Jeff R.

    I love so much about this–especially “hay-breathed beasts”, “we could finally be us,” the amazing paraphrase of the angel song, and the “Christmas tree pointing skyward and the candle flame upward.” Such economy and thick language to remind us of the song that is still ringing around us if only we would have ears to hear it. As I get ready for Christmas Eve services tonight, I find that my preparation to tell people about the song is itself is a kind of noise that drowns out the song to which I am trying to point. But even so, despite the difficulty, the song insists on itself, not bothered by all our bother, and all at the core is well. And I am glad for your words to call me back to center.

    1. Janet Hanson Post author

      Yes, the song insists on itself, not bothered by our bother. Your comment is a post in itself! May that song, through your words tonight, pierce through every indifference and distraction, my friend!


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