What Are We Singing?

December 9, 2010

This is a quote from my message for Sunday, “What the Angels Saw.” – From Luke 2:

Christmas is an interesting time, because it is the time when suddenly the entire world is singing songs about the birth of Christ—and yet they don’t know it. You often walk into a supermarket or drugstore and you hear the words of Hark, the Herald Angels Sing piped in. Or O, Holy Night. And you see people mouthing, even singing along with the words.

And you wonder—do these people know about what they are singing? Artists of all stripe come out with Christmas albums. It’s ironic, really. The created, some aware, most not, singing songs about their Creator, about the most incredible happening in all of the earth—God become man, coming in the flesh. And most, most don’t know it.

And I wonder even if the redeemed, that’s us, who have experienced the peace that comes to men of good will. The very people Jesus came to redeem. Do we know about what we’re singing. When you came in today and sang the carols, did you know what you were singing about. Or were your thoughts a thousands miles away, on the presents you have yet to purchase or wrap, on the parties you’re planning, on the rehearsals, etc. Do you know about what you’re singing today?

We get all upset—Christians do—because the world sometimes stops singing the songs of Christmas. We get mad because a Walmart greeter doesn’t say Merry Christmas. But do we sing of Christmas? Do the redeemed have Jesus on their lips? Are we accusing the world of doing something we’re just as guilty of—ignoring Jesus on Christmas?

Author Donald Miller said this week, “I really wish more stores would take Christ out of Christmas to distance Him from over-consumerism.”

We ought to do like the shepherds—we ought to make haste to Jesus. We ought to do like the wise men—spare no expense to be near the Christ. We ought to do like the angels—and worship with highest and loudest voice and sing praise to the One who came to live among us. We ought to do like Simeon and Anna and wait with eager anticipation as Jesus comes to us.

Let’s let this Christmas be one where we sing the story of Christmas—by our actions, on our hearts, in our actions. Because, as the angels said, “This child was born today –in time and space for you, for me. Not an isolated God who sat in Heaven while His creation rebelled. A God who intervened, who came down and submitted Himself to His own creation and orchestrated the greatest demonstration of love and the highest act of glory.

And maybe if we do this—those tired Walmart greeters and those marketing signs at the Gap and the frosted Windows at Macys will say, “Merry Christmas.”