“Christmas Eve/Sarajevo” is undoubtedly my favorite Christmas song. Although “Oh Holy Night” is near and dear to my heart, moving me to tears even in the middle of July because of it’s beautiful lyrics, it wasn’t until more recently in life that I came to value that song so much. Here is a good rendition, if you’re interested.
The Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s song is something else to me. Even before I appreciated Christmas for what it is, this song moved me. It speaks to my heart more and more each year as I’ve learned more about how the song came about, and just how truly in touch the with Spirit of God it is.
The story of how the song came to be goes like this: this guy, a cellist, goes and sits in the middle of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war and just plays his instrument. The version of this story that inspired the song turned out to be bit fantastical. And yet, still this image of a man sitting in the midst of a city demolished by war, with nothing to protect him but his cello and the beauty of the music emanating from it…its breathtaking. I choke up every time I dwell upon it.
The music video is captivating as well, and I encourage you to watch it. We live in uncertain days, at a time where the illusion of certainty has made us aloof. This song reminds me of that. But it also reminds me of the hope that Christmas celebrates.
Our Redeemer has come, and He lives even still. One day, the weapons will be ploughshares and the lion will lay down with the lamb. Christmas celebrates the ushering in of that new world. And I am ever so grateful.
I pray that Christmas will spark gratitude in each of us, and that we will, in turn, share that gratitude with one another in praise to our King.