Transcript of audio:
German poet Friedrich Schiller wrote "Ode to Joy" to celebrate the unity of all humankind.
We may best know the work for its musical setting by Beethoven in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony, which some consider the greatest piece of music ever written.
The appeal of the words and music of "Ode to Joy" has lasted for centuries, perhaps because their message mirrors what we hear in this week's readings.
Be joyful because God is in our midst. Bring joy to one another, sharing our gifts and "passing the full cup" as Schiller wrote.
While the words and music were not created for Christmas in particular, they joyfully proclaim the Christmas message. Rejoice in the Lord. Your kindness shall be known to all.
Keep this in mind the next time you hear Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". The Gospel message of God's love and joy is truly music to our ears.