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The Work of Christmas: A Choral Reflection Celebrating the Peace Jesus Brings to the World

The work of Christmas a choral song by Dan Forrest

This year, I decided to join a choir at my local college. Since quitting my job at the church, I needed an outlet to perform music on a stage. After all, playing, singing, and performing music are some of my favorite things to do! So when a friend told me about a choir she was part of, I decided to give it a shot and audition. I was selected as a singer for the alto section.

During the first rehearsal, we were given the music we were to perform at the annual Christmas concert. I wasn't sure what to expect, considering I would be singing in a secular college choir. But I was shockingly pleased with the music! I was especially excited for one which was to become my favorite lyrically. It was called The Work of Christmas by Dan Forrest.

When the song of the angel is stilled

When the star in the sky is gone

When the kings and princes are home

When the shepherds are back with their flock

The work of Christmas begins

To find the lost

To heal the broken

To feed the hungry

To release the prisoner

To heal the nations

To bring peace among brothers

To make music from the heart

If you want to hear it performed (not by my choir - we haven't had our Christmas concert yet) here it is sung by Dan Foresst's choir:

I know choir music is very boring to most people, so you might be wondering why I chose to write about it in a blog post. It's because the lyrics to The Work of Christmas are some of the best I have ever heard in the Christmas music genre. Usually, Christmas music is really flim-flammy: "We wish you a merry Christmas," "Hark how the bells," "God rest ye merry gentlemen" (what does that even mean??)

Don't get me wrong, I still love these Christmas songs! I play them all when I put up my tree. But most people will admit that the majority of Christmas songs are not worshipful. They are more like easy listening music that you can hum along to.

That brings me back to The Work of Christmas. If you look at the lyrics, it's actually not talking about Christmas at all. It's talking about what Jesus does after Christmas is done. Shockingly, it doesn't mention Jesus's name once, yet, it's still very worshipful. It's not hard to figure out that the lyrics are talking about Jesus.

The angels are back up in heaven. Meanwhile, Jesus is finding the lost.

The star in the sky is gone. Jesus is healing the broken.

The kings and princes returned home, but Jesus is busy releasing the prisoners.

The shepherds returned to their flock - Jesus is healing the nations.

Honestly, the entire song embodies the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas isn't just one day to be celebrated each year and then forgotten about. Christmas (or Christ's Day) should be celebrated all year long, because it's the rememberance of Jesus coming to earth to bring salvation, peace, and healing for the nations.

The magic of the Christmas season soon fades. But the message of Christmas will never go away.

[Jesus] being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:5-11

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