My daughters give me such a hard time. I mean, they give me a hard time about many things, but a biggie is my inability to listen to certain Christmas songs without getting choked up and forming big old tears in my eyes. It’s actually pretty pathetic, and it always happens in the most embarrassing places. In the car, mostly, but lets see: Church, family gatherings, Christmas programs…For some people at this time of year it’s the Hallmark movies that get them misty, for me, it’s the Christmas songs.
I remember when my oldest daughter was a baby, sitting in my Dad’s bedroom feeding her. He turned on his radio for me so I wasn’t sitting alone in silence. Mary did you know started to play. As I sat there, holding my newborn baby girl, listening to the words and imagining how Mary felt holding her own baby, Jesus as a human became very real. This began my misty-eyed encounters with Christmas music!
I don’t know if you are like me, but music stirs my soul. The poetry of the lyrics and the dynamics of the song reach my core emotionally. And when the song is about my Savior, it usually wrecks me. The beauty creates a raw worship in my heart, because it always ushers me into this place of reverence and awe of who Christ is and what He did. What a gift He gave us in song!
This year, the words of O Holy Night really struck me in a new way. The weary world. Friends, I’m sure you can agree with me that our world is feeling pretty weary right now. It’s feeling tired, sad, scared, anxious, maybe even defeated at times. Sin is rampant, pain is everywhere. And in all of that, we as humans have a tendency to lose hope. And that is natural when our hope is in the wrong place.
The thrill of hope
When our hope is in Jesus Christ, and we are able to look directly at what He did for us, first with the life He lived physically here on earth, but then also in His death and resurrection which opened up a whole new world for those of us who put our hope and faith in what He did. Because our hope is no longer in people or circumstances here on earth, but instead is in the One who has promised that all of this is temporary. That what we look forward to is far better than even the best moments we experience here. What a thrill that is to think about!
The weary world rejoices
The world is that fighter. The world is battered, beat down, bloody and tired. But we keep on fighting the enemy we face because even though it sometimes feels like we have nothing left to give, we know that through Christ, He will give us what we need to deal that last blow and pull off a win. Because He has already done the work! And we know from the truth in His Word that He will conquer once and for all!
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease
This is why I break down in tears when these songs play. Not out of nostalgia, but out of pure awe, reverence and hope for things to come!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
This Christmas season, I encourage you to look forward with hope. While nostalgia and family are important and comforting, remember that we celebrate what is to come just as much as we celebrate what happened in that manger all of those years ago.
Oh. And if you want to listen and cry for yourself, here are a few links to songs that hit me in the gut every time thinking of the promises yet to be fulfilled by our Savior!