It is not the easiest question to answer: “What do you want for Christmas?”
It may be fair to conclude that the first Christmas carol created on the shores of the U.S. was by Americans of African descent. That is, African-Americans.
Keep in mind that, in #CarolStory, the ten-minute play by Kingdom Impact Theater Ministries, the definition of a Christmas carol is a song that includes the salvation message of Christ amid the story of the birth of Jesus.
Until “Go Tell It on the Mountain” was put to paper by John Wesley Work Jr., in 1906, the traditional carols sung in the States originated in Europe.
As with Handel’s “Messiah,” the development of “Hark! The Herald Angel Sings” exemplifies the ever-evolving collaboration (some say interference) of artist, patron and theologian.
The original poem which begat the song, written in 1739 by Methodist pastor and song writer Charles Wesley, was entitled “Hymn for Christmas Day.” Wesley’s hymn was an epic with over 10 stanzas.
It included words that showed Wesley’s intellect but left listeners scratching their heads. Wesley’s pastor friend, George Whitefield, pointed this out and suggested revisions, simplifying the text.
Imagine going about your daily activities of life -- school, shopping, work, dining -- and suddenly the sky around you bursts into song: a voice here, a voice there, until the entire sky is filled with powerful harmonies singing repeatedly the same set of lyrics, delivering a message.
What would you do? Sit slack-jawed! Complain? Hide? Join in? Call the authorities? Utter a sentence starting with "What the..."?
The shepherds tending flocks on the silent night on the hills above Bethlehem faced this situation. In their case, "What the...?" may not have been an unreasonable response.
Elvis was poster-child for conflicted Believers, especially those in performing arts.
The KIT 'n' Kaboodle Blog
Many are reprints from our newsletter, The KIT 'n' Kaboodle, or Facebook notes over time.
They're written by our ensemble, Garlan Garner, Michael Edgar Myers or Vikki J. Myers -- solo, or collectively.
55 For 55
Dr. Tony Evans
Harvard Schools Of Public Health
I'm Every Woman
Kingdom Impact Theater
Pastor Darryl Jenkins
Rebel Without A Cause
Sandy Cove Women's Conference
St. Jude Children's Hospital
The Five Love Languages
Vikki J Myers
Waukegan Community Church