If you walk into just about any store in America you will hear Christmas music playing. A few years ago I would have told you I couldn’t stand Christmas music. There was only one Christmas CD I would listen to and that was Relient K’s. It would really annoy me because if you ever listened to a radio station that played Christmas music it felt like you heard the same five songs just by different people. On Christmas Eve we would always go to my grandparents, and I would be annoyed because my mom would insist on listening to Christmas music in the car.
One year as I was listening to Christmas music, I actually started paying attention to the words. I realized that some of these songs are actually some of the most powerful worship songs I’ve ever heard. Something happened in my heart that would be comparable to that which happened to the Grinch. I began to actually enjoy Christmas music. But since I had long championed the campaign to rid the world of Christmas music, I was not willing to accept or admit it. This couldn’t be happening to me. I could never really enjoy Christmas music. I pulled out my guitar and some Christmas song charts I had from playing worship at church, and began to worship with them. It was powerful. But as I make this confession, let me make one thing clear. I still can’t stand all the silly Christmas songs like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause, and All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth. They are still annoying and obnoxious.
However, as I sang Oh Holy Night I was so moved. I love the chorus, “Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angels voices, Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born.” We see the wise men respond this way in Matthew 2:11, “And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.” The wise men were so in awe that they dropped to their knees when they came into the presence of Jesus. Then I started singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful and had a similar experience. I really liked the verse that says, Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given! Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing! Oh, come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.” John 1:1-2 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.” That year for the first time I was a little sad the day after Christmas because it meant the time to listen to Christmas music was over. This year I started listening to Christmas music on Thanksgiving day, and I haven’t listened to much else since then. There are some times I am worshiping along to Christmas music and the Spirit moves so much that it brings me to tears.
One of my absolute favorite Christmas songs is I Celebrate the Day by Relient K. In it they sing, ” I celebrate the day that You were born to die so I could one day pray for You to save my life.” It is so powerful to think of that. We celebrate Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the only reason He was born was so that He could die for us. There is no other reason He became a human. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “ Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”
Last night I saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and they closed their story with something I found so profound. They said, “The message that Christmas sends is that it is never too late to change any life’s end.” Jesus came that we might have hope. He came to let us know that no matter where we have been or what we have done, He still loves us and cares about us. I believe that is something worth celebrating.
until next time…
Photo courtesy of David