Friday, December 18, 2015
At our grandson’s recent graduation ceremony, I was pleasantly surprised to hear a musical ensemble from his school playing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” before the commencement exercises. I had expected to only hear the popular Christmas songs about Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, and all the others which most people know from beginning to end, all which I love, I might add. And being that we are deeply imbedded in an age of political correctness, I certainly did not expect to hear a musical group from a state funded university play any Christian oriented Christmas carols. Later, they even played “Silent Night.” As I was wondering why this happened, I got the impression that they mostly played these carols because of their historical value and not about their message.
As I was silently singing along to the first carol they played, I was very aware of the song’s clear message. It’s writer, whoever he or she may have been, was reminding the world of the good news of the gospel, that the reason Christ was born was to save us from Satan’s power. (sin) This should be more than enough reason for us not to be dismayed, but rather to have comfort and joy in our hearts. I realized that most people, and many Christians too, seldom pay attention to the words and the meanings when they sing this or any other hymn or Christmas carol. Then, I also remembered Paul’s words to the Philippians when he informed them that not everyone who preaches the gospel does it with love, faith, or sincerity. Still, he added: “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” (Ph. 1:18) Remembering these words of Paul, prompted me to say a hearty “amen” in my heart. I realized that although most people will overlook the message of our many beloved Christmas carols, there will always be a few here and there who will eventually “get it”, one more reason to rejoice at Christmas time.
I am very much aware that the hearts of many of God’s children are filled with sadness and dismay when they dwell on the way the world celebrates and observes Christmas today. Nevertheless, please permit me to remind you that the Christmas season should be a time of happy rejoicing. Don’t let today’s world rob you of it. As an old Mexican Christian “corito” (little chorus) says: “The joy that I have, the world did not give it to me. The world did not give it to me, and because it didn’t give it to me, it can’t take it away.” If you truly love the Lord, there is absolutely no reason why your heart should not be filled today with Christ’s comfort and joy.
Memory verse for the week: (Deuteronomy 12:32) “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.”