Thoughts from one of our EQUIP participants this holiday season.
I may or may not be one of those people that listens to Christmas music year around.
(Spoiler: I am one of those people.)
My heart and mind are captivated continually with the beauty, humility, and miracle of the incarnation of Christ. Whenever I read through Philippians, I will stop at the hymn in chapter 2, which states:
/[Jesus], being in very nature God/ did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage/ rather, he made himself nothing/ by taking the very nature of a servant/ being made in human likeness/
No matter what time of year it is, as I read that verse, my mind will scream: I LOVE CHRISTMAS! Because this is the miracle that we celebrate at Christmas: the incarnation of Jesus!
The main reason I love to listen to Christmas music all through the year is because of the year-around truth some of the most popular songs proclaim. I mean, have you ever really listened to the lyrics of some of these infamous hymns?
When you hear “O Holy Night” do you ever realize the accurate view of reality it describes?
/Long lay the world in sin and error pining/ Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth/
Does your heart jump at the completely new reality the birth of Christ ushers in?
/A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices/ For yonder breaks a new glorious morn/
Are you ever been inspired to sing along with “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” because of the biblical truth it proclaims?
/Mild he lays his glory by/ Born that man no more may die/ Born to raise the son of earth/ Born to give them second birth/ Hark! the herald angels sing/ “Glory to the new-born King!”
Have you ever felt as completely resigned as the writer of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” because of the miserable state of the world?
/And in despair I bowed my head/ “There is no peace on earth,” I said/ “For hate is strong, and mocks the song/ Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
The most wonderful truth is that we do not have to live in that despair because of what happened on Christmas…
/Then pealed the bells more loud and deep/ “God is not dead, nor does He sleep/ For Christ is here; His Spirit near/ Brings peace on earth, good will to men.”
The Christmas season tells the beginning of a story: the birth of Christ. But why did Jesus leave the perfection of heaven to come to earth as a baby? The hymn in Philippians 2 continues:
/And being found in appearance as a man/ he humbled himself/ by becoming obedient to death/ even death on a cross!/
One of my very favorite songs is “I Celebrate the Day” by Relient K, and these lyrics fill my heart with joy, even in May:
/To look back and think that/ This baby would one day save me/ In the hope that what You did/ That you were born so I might live/ And I, I celebrate the day/ That You were born to die/ So I could one day pray for You to save my life/
I am incredibly thankful that it is now culturally appropriate to jam to my Christmas playlist. Regardless, all through the year, I celebrate the day that Jesus was born to die, so that He could utterly transform not only my life, but the lives of all who accept His perfect gift.