Thursday, December 4, 2014

Joy to the World: Finding Christ in the songs of Christmas

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can come out of the closet. I can admit the truth to people besides my daughters who were guilty accomplices right along with me.

Here it is – the Christmas music started early in our house this year. The first Christmas carol rang out from our iTunes Christmas playlist at least two weeks before we roasted the Thanksgiving turkey.

I worked around the house one day while “Silent Night” lulled out through the speakers. The second verse caught my attention – especially the last line of the verse.

How many times have we sung these words penned centuries ago? So many times, perhaps, that their power now falls on desensitized ears. The Christ – the Savior of our souls – is born! Four thousand years of prophesied waiting climaxed in the cry of a newborn baby!

I decided it’s ok to listen to Christmas songs early. Geez, listen all year if you want. These are some of the greatest praise and worship songs ever written! Why limit them to a couple weeks of the year?

“O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel…” along with those of us who are adopted in as children of Abraham.

“Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free…” for we long to live set free from sin – to live free in relationship with You.

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head…” Creator of the universe – humbled in a manger. The Word made Flesh – limited to the cries of a newborn.

“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant…” for we have fallen so far away from the life of joy and triumph promised to the faithful.

“Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King: Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled...’” because right now as always, we need to know your peace. We need to see sinners reconciled with holy God as only Jesus can do so they too may know peace.

And my personal favorite,

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come: Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room” for we need to receive Him more than any other gift this holiday season. He came – He gave all so that we might finally find the joy that nothing else in cursed creation can offer us.

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