Pastor Larson’s Corner: The music of Christmas

Pastor Larsons Corner

Two weeks before Thanksgiving I happened to tune into one of my favorite “oldies” radio stations. I was surprised to hear them already playing Christmas music. My initial reaction was a negative one. I have always believed our culture starts promoting Christmas way too early. I resisted the urge to change the station and after hearing a few of my favorite Christmas carols, I was hooked. I have been listening to the beautiful sounds of Christmas ever since.

For some reason the Christmas story and the beautiful music it has inspired down through the ages has had a powerful effect upon me this year. As I wondered about this, I discovered that the course of world events had begun to overwhelm me. The day I first heard the Christmas carols was just after the horrific events in Paris. I had followed those events closely with a growing sense of fear for the future of our world. I could not imagine the pervasive extent of the hatred that has driven so many into acts of terrorism.

The story of Christmas, so powerfully told in the music of Christmas, reminded me that evil never has the last word. As I have listened to the great good news that salvation has been created by God and that the “Prince of Peace” has come into the world, my spirits have been lifted out of despair and fear. The events portrayed so dramatically on the evening news do not seem to overwhelm me and I am able to focus more on the good that exists around me. May the message of joy and hope that came into the world through the birth of the Christ child do the same for every one of you this Christmas.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 18, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.