Look Toward Christmas

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray

Lyrics as Poetry

Look toward Christmas!
Advent is here:
welcome December
changing the year,
whistle up, shepherds!
saddle up, kings!
chorus up, angels,
flexing your wings,Refrain:sing, sing alleluia! sing, sing alleluia!
sing, sing out the Story
sing about hope and peace!
Set the world singing,
make the world glad!
Now is good reason
not to feel sad,
hear John the Baptist
shout to prepare:
Good News is coming,
earth, be aware.— Refrain —Mary and Joseph
soon is the day,
ready the donkey,
start on your way:
you are the chosen,
willing to trust,
joyful your burden
carrying Christ,— Refrain —

Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1996 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
from her book
“Every Day in Your Spirit” (#19):

“As an editor of a collection of New Zealand carols, I found few on the Advent theme, especially simple texts for young singers.”

Every Day in Your Spirit
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA

A Reflection by hymnwriter

It’s delightful to have a song for Advent that dances towards Christmas. Words and music combine to engage, not just children and youth for whom Shirley Erena Murray said she was writing, but all who hear with opened ears and readied hearts.

The mood of preparation is itself exhilarating. “Whistle up shepherds, saddle up kings, chorus up angels, flexing your wings.” Whistling would alert the shepherd dogs, the sheep, other shepherds. So clearly such whistling communicates and connects. Attending to their mounts, be they camels or horses, demanded the care and attention of the magi, kings or astrologists. Their journey was not to the next village and was mapped by the stars, not by handy atlases or apps. The angels are urged to chorus up, scrambling to find their musical scores, looking for the something they’d just laid down or maybe left at home, listening, or not, to whoever was directing and to the angel who always had to offer a last-minute revision to a particular musical phrase. Stretches and relaxings, voice exercises – all to be ready when it is TIME. Such a mixture of intentionality and chaos, of plan and spontaneity. This is the here and nowness of the word of God becoming flesh in the midst of the people. Shining in the darkness is a light that cannot be extinguished or overwhelmed.

“Set the world singing, make the world glad!” Into the midst of humankind’s fears, into the world of domination and elusive justice, into a world obsessed with revenge and settling scores, sing hope and promise of peace and wholeness. The poet offers a new look at the work and words of John the Baptist. The typical reading of the Advent word is “Beware!” The hymn says instead, “Good News is coming, earth “Be Aware”.

Too often religious teachers have simply substituted new fears for old. Fear of damnation. Fear of Judgement. Fear of being unlovable. Fear of rejection and exclusion. This message that calls us to “Be Aware” says to us and our world, “Be aware of where God is working – where walls of division are being torn down, where healing of body, mind and soul is occurring, where welcome and inclusion win the day, where love overcomes hate and suspicion.” We proclaim Gospel, God’s spiel, Good News.

“Mary and Joseph soon is the day, ready the donkey, start on your way: you are the chosen, willing to trust, joyful your burden, carrying Christ.” As it was for them, then, so it is for us, now.
Sing Alleluia. Sing out the story. Sing about hope and peace!

An Exercise: Think of a way to have some fun with this Advent carol. Then find a way to bring the thought(s) to life.

Audio Sample

One Verse & Refrain
played on piano by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • Matthew 1:18-23
  • Matthew 2:1-11
  • Luke 2:8-20
  • Luke 3:1-6

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Advent∶ Year 'A'∶ Advent 4
  • Angel, Angels
  • Intergenerational
  • John the Baptist
  • Kings (nativity)
  • Shepherds (nativity)
  • Trust

Presentation Suggestions

Not yet available for this title. Contact us if you are a subscriber (or purchaser of this title) and need this item.

Projection Images

This feature is only accessible to Subscribers or those who have purchased this Single Title.

Projection Images are available in three different versions:

  • Apple Keynote
  • MS PowerPoint
  • ZIP (JPEGS) which may be incorporated into any projection software program.

Projection Images are available in two aspect ratios:

  • Standard (4:3)
  • Widescreen (16:9)

Varying by title, slides may be available as:

  • Words only
  • Words and images
  • Words and melody line

Use the link below for instructions on how to use the Projection Images in Powerpoint and Keynote.

Learn more

Projection Images
Available for This Title

16:9 Words Only
16:9 Words With Music
16:9 Words With Images
4:3 Words Only
4:3 Words With Music
4:3 Words With Images

Accompaniment Recordings

Not yet available for this title. Contact us if you are a subscriber (or purchaser of this title) and need this item.

  • Subscribe To All Titles

    unlimited annual access to everything on this site

  • Purchase This Title

    unlimited access to all versions of this title

  • unlimited access to an individual version of this title

Purchasers and Subscribers
Click links below to download your versions.

Versions Available for This Title

Contact us if you need a version you don’t see here.

Choral Anthem Arrangements

  • Choral Anthem: SATB Full Score
  • Choral Anthem: SATB Choral Parts

Melody Line Versions (including transposing instruments)

  • Melody Line: 'C' Instrument or Vocal
  • Melody Line: 'C' Instrument 8va
  • Melody Line: Bass Clef 'C' Instrument
  • Melody Line: Alto Clef Instrument
  • Melody Line: ‘Bb’ Instrument
  • Melody Line: ‘Eb’ Instrument
  • Melody Line: ‘F’ Instrument (high)
  • Melody Line: ‘F’ Instrument (low)

Piano Versions

  • Piano: Hymn-style

Hymn-style Vocal Harmonizations

  • Hymn-style: SATB voices

Guitar Chords & Bass Progressions

  • Guitar & Bass: Full chords in keyboard key
  • Easy Guitar: Basic chords