2011-12-14 - Songs of the Season
Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. (Philippians 2:6-7, NLT)
Christmas music is everywhere right now. We all have plenty of chances to hear our favorites on radio stations in the car, while shopping in stores, and pretty much anywhere we go. We'll hear them sung by different people with different arrangements, since they've been done and redone by artist after artist. It seems like every singer and every band has to put out a Christmas album at some point. Some of these recordings contain new songs, but each singer or group wants to put their spin on the "classics," too. Unfortunately, this means we'll also have to endure hearing the songs we find really annoying, over and over throughout the season.
This year, I received a Christmas card that played "Feliz Navidad." An article I read yesterday said The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers ranks Feliz Navidad as the 15th most popular song on the radio during the holidays in the past five years. It also said that Itunes ranks this catchy Christmas classic at number six in the list of most downloaded holiday songs. It's a happy and heartfelt Christmas song. Unfortunately, it doesn't mention Jesus.
Of course, lots of Christmas songs don't mention Jesus. I still enjoy a lot of them and appreciate the sentiments of love and celebration. I also think its neat that many "secular" radio stations play songs that talk about Jesus during the Christmas season. I'm glad about that. I wonder how many people really consider the words. I hope hearing those more worshipful songs makes listeners think about the reason we celebrate Christmas.
My very favorite Christmas song is called "Welcome To Our World" © I heard it for the first time about 6 years ago, I think. It was on a Chris Rice CD my Mom bought. It wasn't a Christmas CD, and the first time I heard it was during the summertime. I was doing something on my computer, and it came on and caught me completely off-guard. I cried, listening to it. The music is pretty, but the words are so powerful. It's just a beautifully written song about welcoming Jesus in human form. It truly captures what Christmas is all about. If you aren't familiar with it, I would encourage you to look it up on YouTube. It was written by Michael W Smith. The Chris Rice version is my favorite, but Amy Grant has also recorded it.
I got another Christmas card featuring an audio clip from the "Charlie Brown Christmas." Linus is reading the Christmas story from the Bible. At the end, he says, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." Songs like "Do You Hear What I Hear," "Joy To the World," "O Holy Night," "Welcome To Our World," and so many others focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I hope we'll always keep in mind that the Baby born in a manger was the One who eventually died to save us from our sins. That's how much He loved us. May we all take a moment to meditate on this truth today, and to worship God for the most beautiful gift ever given. Without His coming, there would be no Christmas songs, and no reason for this time of celebration and worship.