Love’s pure light

Pastoral Messages | December 19, 2018

I can’t seem to get enough Christmas music this time of year. One album I always come back to is Christmas Together by John Denver and The Muppets.

The album holds a special place in my heart because it was the one CD my mom had in the car that my sister and I could agree on. We sang the round in the song “Christmas is Coming” and we belted out with Miss Piggy as she sang “five gold rings” in the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

But no Christmas album is complete without a rendition of “Silent Night.” With this particular album, the music fades in the middle and John Denver tells of the origin of the song, in 1818. This beloved Christmas carol came to be because of a broken organ in a tiny church in Austria, now bringing people to tears for 200 years.

One memory I have of this cherished song is of my Nana teaching me to sing it in German. The Muppets also sing it in German on their album. Every year, I sing the German words to myself on Christmas Eve in remembrance of her.

One phrase that resonates with me is in the final verse, where we sing of God’s son as “love’s pure light.” I think of this unstained, unselfish, uninhibited love that came to us as a baby. It is a love that is now known on Earth, a love that dispelled the darkness.

This is the love we feel from God on Christmas and this is the love we are to emulate. So as we gather with family, friends, and strangers to sing some of these most precious songs, we think of ways to share love that lights up the world.

-Kelsey Fitting-Snyder, pastor in residency

3 Comments on “Love’s pure light”

  • Joan Bruce

    December 23, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    I loved your message, Kelsey. Len and I also enjoy that album a lot. We play it several times each year. We bought the album when it first came out and have since replaced it with the CD. I agree that that rendition of “Silent Night” is just beautiful. In fact, about 20 years ago, I was in charge of our church’s Sunday School Christmas program and adapted the album’s “Silent Night” rendition to what the children sang at the end of the program. Thank you for bringing back that wonderful memory.

  • Stella Herzig

    December 21, 2018 at 4:06 pm


  • Dixie Kutzbach

    December 20, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    KELSEY, Your beautiful story brought back memories for me. Our three daughters had that same album (only in vinyl) and listened to it over and over! They attended a Lutheran preschool and would take it to share because they loved it so. I also remember going caroling with my high school German class and always ending with Stille Nacht. Thanks for the memories!!

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