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Music and the Spoken Word: Love comes at Christmas

POSTED: December 11, 2017 8:10 a.m.
Deseret Connect/

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Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

More than a hundred years ago, the beloved English poet Christina Rossetti wrote a simple yet thought-provoking Christmas poem:

Love came down at Christmas,

Love all lovely, Love Divine;

Love was born at Christmas,

Star and Angels gave the sign.

(See “Christmastide,” in "Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems" published in 2001.)

In just a few short words, this poem captures the essence of this most wonderful time of year. Why do we give without thought of getting at Christmastime? Why do we sing carols of joy? Why are we more likely at this season to open our hearts in kindness and compassion? Why do we think of others more than we think about ourselves? Indeed, generosity and goodness seem to be in the air and all around us because “Love came down at Christmas.”

We’ve all felt it.

A few years ago, a young mother was bustling to prepare her home and family for Christmas. Special treats needed to be made, presents needed to be wrapped, the house needed to be cleaned. In the midst of these frenzied preparations, the doorbell rang. A friend of one of the children was at the door with a homemade Christmas gift. With all the love in his heart, the little boy had done his best to sew a pillowcase for his friend. Love radiated from the boy’s face as he delivered this simple expression of kindness.

Almost instantly, the mood in the home changed. The world seemed to slow down, and love entered in. And with that love came warmth, gentleness and kindness. The young mother now saw that there was only one thing she really needed to do to prepare her family for Christmas — she needed to love them.

The love we experience at this time of the year is but a reflection of the “Love Divine” that came down at Christmas so long ago. And as we receive and share that love, it comes down still, every Christmas.
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