Jingle All the Way?

bright starEach Christmas season I find myself moved again and again by the profound truths we sing about in some of our better Christmas songs. Take, for example, these lyrics from Silent Night:

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth 

I thank God that I have not ceased to wonder at the mystery and reality of “Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.”

But as I said in a recent sermon, as much as I appreciate many of our popular Christmas hymns the songs of Scripture sing with a power beyond anything written by mere men and women. I’m thinking of songs like that of Zachariah in Luke 1:68-79. Because Zachariah wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, his words are “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). In other words, Zachariah’s song is truly heavenly.

Consider these God-breathed lyrics:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days” (Luke 1:68-75).

Redemption, faithfulness, mercy, rescue from enemies, holiness, righteousness, worship without fear: this is the song of heaven!

Can you hear it? Every note struck perfectly, every chorus in harmony, the indescribably beautiful crescendo that is leading to the ultimate climax of the ages when the trumpet will sound, and the angels will sing, and every tear is wiped away, and every wrong made right, and joy eternal becomes our only reality! This is the gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ — the good news of His life, death, and resurrection for sinners like us.

Tragically, millions of people this Christmas are settling for mere jingles when the symphony of God’s grace is sounding forth all around us. Do you hear what I hear?

This entry was posted in Bible, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jingle All the Way?

  1. Bettina Ferraro says:

    May God grant that I will always hear the gospel song above all others! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Bill Alexander says:

    Pastor Mike–
    I also throw tumultuous “Kudows” to you for your Sunday Services and the obvious way you and your family pattern your lives solidly on Biblical principles each and every day–no matter what situation presents itself!!!!

    To be honest, part of me is saddened each time in the year that the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ comes around. This is because of the commercialism that now permeates and overshadows what should be a joyous, happy occasion. No sooner are the feastivities of Thanksgiving over that people are crowding the doors of the “big-box” stores on “Black Friday”–climbing over each other–shouldering each other out of the way to get a place at the head of the line like a bunch of animals to get that special gift for that special someone for Christmas–all the while pushing the best gift of all into the background–the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!!! The situation has gotten so bad that in some homes His name is not even allowed to be mentioned.

    One of the events that saddens me is reflected in the change in the wording of a song that a lot of us used to sing at this time of year, one of the verses, or maybe the chorus goes like this……
    Please excuse the punctuation, and spelling–English used to be one of my favorite subjects in school but much of that has gone by the wayside with age.
    “In the meadow we will build a snowman,
    and pretend that he is Parson Brown.
    He’ll say are you married?
    We’ll say, no man;
    But you can do the job when you’re in town.”

    The change which is becoming more and more the norm though subtle, jumps out at me and jangles my nerves each time I hear it. It goes like this…..
    “In the meadow we will build a snowman,
    and pretend that he’s a circus clown.
    (I have to add-lib here because I don’t remember the exact words-it is here that my
    blood begins to boil and my brain, the little that is left, short-circuits)
    sumpthin’, sumpthin’, sumpthin’;
    when all the kiddies knock him down.”

    I could go on and on about the humanistic things that are creeping ever more-so into a time of year that was initially set aside to thank God that, though we are all sinners, he cared so much for us that he sent his son, Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, to shed his blood on the cross to be prayerfully received by his most imperfect creation. It is in this way that we can be assured of an eternity (think about this–that’s FOREVER!!) spent with Him!!!
    It is the celebration in rememberance of the birth of Christ that is the reason for the season!!!
    It is this reason that I encourage all of you to say to whomever you meet, and with all the emphasis you can muster—MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!—if things continue the way they are, it won’t be long that we won’t be allowed to say this.

  3. Karen & John Nieuwendorp says:

    Beautifully stated Mike! Thanks so much for your writings and preaching!

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