Oh Holy Night – Part 1

Oh Holy Night Part 1 - Christmas CarolsFor over thirty years, my father directed a tiny little choir of professional singers who only sang together one night a year.  It consisted of eight local Denver soloists who walked up and down the halls of Denver hospitals on Christmas Eve and sang Christmas carols to the patients who were too sick to go home for the holidays.

The tradition was started by a man named Frank Farmer.  Frank had been one of the lost and frightened soldiers recovering in a military hospital at the end of world war two. The story goes he was just about ready to give up one Christmas Eve until a small group of volunteers began caroling through the halls and Frank heard the old familiar carols of his childhood for the first time in a long, long while.

That night, Frank promised God that if he ever got out of that hospital, he would start his own little choir of carolers and return to others the blessing of hope that he was given that Christmas.  

How often have we found ourselves in trouble, in a jam, or in pain, and promised God that if he would only do this, we will do that!  Well, first of all, I don’t believe God makes deals with us.  God is a god of mercy, not bargains.  I don’t think there’s anything we could trade with Him to receive his grace.  That trade has already been made for us by Jesus Christ.  Not to mention, I think God knows us well enough to understand that most of the time, even when we make bargains like that, once the storm has passed, very few of us remember to keep our side of the bargain.

Frank Farmer was one man who never forgot his commitment to pass on the gift that he was given.  He returned to Denver and founded the Frank Farmer Octet and for almost forty years, the halls of Denver hospital were filled with the sounds of caroling on Christmas Eve.  My father became the director of that group when I was a little girl.  My mother and sisters later sang in that choir.  And it was my dream to sing in it, too, one day.  And the night I became a member of the Frank Farmer Octet was the Christmas Eve I’ll never forget.  But I’ll save that story‚Ķfor next time.