Wednesday, December 24, 2014


It’s that time of year in the Bolen house when Christmas music has started to play and I get to hear all the little voices throughout the house singing along. The other night I was hanging out with my kids and Bing Crosby’s version of “The First Noel” came on and I about collapsed with excitement. As the ensemble began to gently play the opening notes of the song, Bing started to speak, not sing, but speak. It was a very different type of introduction to a song, yet as a worship pastor, very relatable in a strange way. Here’s what he said:
“Say friends wherever you are tonight, whether you’re in the snows of New England or up in the Northwest, or on the warm tropical beaches of the Florida coast, I really hope you’re getting into the spirit of this Christmas song. I don’t mean just sitting back in your easy chair listening to us having all the fun. I mean throwing back your head, opening up your hearts and singing as loud or as pretty as you know how. Gang singing is a lot more fun then you’ll ever know unless you give it a whirl sometime. So come on now, join me in the The First Noel. If you don’t know the words well, hum a little, tap your feet or gee whiz, do something! You ready?”
Um, yeah! Two things in what he said really stood out to me. First, the call he was giving people to sing was compelling and I imagined in my head my tone-deaf grandfather 50 years ago would have been pretty keen to join in. The second, I found it refreshing, (even if the recording is over 50 years old), that he would go through the work of casting a vision in such a way that anyone could participate, regardless of their ability. Now I don’t know all that Bing had in mind except to assume that his reasons for inviting people to sing was that he believed it was a good thing. It wasn’t a call to worship, although the song is about Jesus, it was in so many ways an invitation to do something that is natural...

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a copy of the original white christmas from 1941? If you do can you please send it to me at
    Thanks, Dylan