I'm what one might call a Beatles fanatic. I've read the books, know the stories, and have their entire catalogue (in lossless audio mind you) on my iPhone at all times. Needless to say, I'm a big fan.
The Beatles are known for singing about love. "All You Need Is Love," "She Loves You," and "Love Me Do," just to name a few. In fact, over the course of their career the Beatles sang the word "love" 613 times in their songs. To date, the Beatles have sold over 2 BILLION albums worldwide and John Lennon and Paul McCartney are the most successfull songwriting duo of all time.
In 1967, The Beatles released a fan-club only Christmas song called, Christmas Time (Is Here Again). The song is basically just one line over and over and over again: "Christmas time is here again." I love The Beatles, but hearing them sing the same line endlessly gets old.
This got me thinking, for a band that sings a lot about love, and with a holiday as rich as Christmas, why didn't they write a better song? They're the Beatles for crying out loud. Where's the "Hey Jude" style Christmas anthem that evokes the true meaning of love?
I think it comes down to the band members not fully understanding what Christmas really meant.
Unfortunately, as great as they were, some of the greatest spiritual truths were completely missed by The Beatles. The Beatles sang about love, but only earthly, temporary love. Did they know that, "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39)"? Did they know that, "Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18)"? Earthly love fails, but God's love is perfect.
For people who do not understand this kind of love, the world can be a very lonely place.
When I was young, I remember going to the mall and seeing those 3D stereogram posters that had an image hidden inside. If you only took a cursory look, it all just looked like a mess of a picture. However, if you stared at the picture long enough, you could see the image that was hiding underneath.
Christmas is like this in some ways. In today's culture, we can get so blinded by the lights, presents, and department store sales that we think those things are the meaning of Christmas. It's easy to miss the real meaning of Christmas. To find it, we have to remember that Christmas is about a Father's love for his son and, ultimately, his love for each of us.
This Christmas, how can we look deeper into understanding the meaning of Christmas and the greatest love of all?
In Isaiah 7:14, we're told: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. The birth of Jesus was prophesied about thousands of years before Christ came to earth in the form of a baby.
In the well-known verse, John 3:16, God shows us what the real meaning of love is: "For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
As we spend this Advent season looking forward to the celebration of the coming of Christ, we can be reminded that God showed the ultimate sign of love by not only giving us his son, but giving his son to die for each of us.
For some, Christmas is merely something that happens once a year, again and again and again. For those who believe, we are reminded that the reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ and the great love of our Father. May we also remember that when referring to the great love of God, His "love IS all you need."
There has been plenty written about the religious beliefs of the Beatles. You can find some of that information here.
CC image by sitemarca on Flickr.