9. The Ninth Day of Christmas – “From heaven above to earth I come”
Congregations were moved by Martin Luther’s poignant telling of the Christmas story. It was as if they were really there in Bethlehem. This truly homely hymn was written for his little son and was dramatized every year in the family celebration of Christmas Eve.
Lovely choral arrangement: https://youtu.be/7XY3O5MLYXM
Hymn link: https://youtu.be/PjJJQu8qfcA
Exerpt from “How Martin Luther Preached Christmas”(https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/december/celebrating-advent-with-martin-luther.html)
“In the theological tumult that was Martin Luther’s life, the great reformer seemed to be heartened each year by the great festivals of the church, particularly Advent and Christmas. The man who “invented” the Protestant parsonage was also sustained by a blazing sense of humor and a happy home life. It was open house all year in the large converted monastery at the east end of Wittenberg where Luther, his wife Katie, and their six children lived, along with numerous students who stayed there as well. One of them wrote that as Christmas approached, Luther grew increasingly cheerful: “All his words and songs and thoughts concerned the incarnation of our Lord. Then he sighed and said, ‘Oh, we poor people that we should be so cold and indifferent to this great joy that has been given us. For this is indeed the greatest gift, which far exceeds all else that God has created. Yet we believe so sluggishly, even though the angels proclaim and preach and sing, and their lovely song sums up the whole Christian faith, for ‘Glory to God in the highest’ is the very heart of worship.””