On the way to work last week, I had Christmas music blaring: the same way I’ve been playing it for over a month already.
As much as I still adore the music, I have to be honest, the excitement has subsided as I hear the jingling and familiar voices for the dozenth time. Maybe I should have listened to my husband and not started my Pandora Station on October 19.
As I sit here writing, Christmas music plays softly in the background. It plays as I prepare my classroom in quiet moments in the morning. It plays as I clean my house and make dinner and online shop.
I hear it in stores and on radio stations, in the background of bustling offices and in moving scenes on the Hallmark channel.
Many of the songs are fun and lighthearted about bows and bells and trees and gifts and Santa. Nostalgia can feel overwhelming as a simple melody seems to transport me to a place in time at my grandparent’s house 15 years ago.
But have you listened, truly listened to the words of some of them? Most of the time I am absentmindedly singing along …have you really listened to them lately?
On that particular morning on my way to school, Celine Dion’s version of “O’ Holy Night” began to play. Everyone knows that her voice alone could make a gerbil cry, so I prepared myself mentally for waterworks. It was also a Tuesday and I tend to be my most emotionally vulnerable on Tuesdays.
The song opens and of course she sounds like a Christmas angel, but it wasn’t her voice that started to affect me. It was the words of a song I have heard 1,000 times in my life that I truly began to listen to:
O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
“Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease”
The tears began to stream as I listened to the gospel, the story of God’s redemption on a secular radio station.
In a world that so vehemently opposes Biblical truth, attempting to remove God from His rightful place to make sin seem attractive and freeing, do you hear these words being played for all to hear?
His gospel is peace.
In this broken, dysfunctional, disorderly world: peace.
Peace isn’t the promise that the waves won’t rise and the storms won’t come; it is the assurance that rests beneath the chaos. It is the anchor for the soul. It is the only answer. The peace of Jesus.
This song doesn’t just tell the story of one night in history. Souls are renewed and hearts are turned and knees fall every day, thousands of years later.
I have experienced the breaking of chains, the gospel of peace, the thrill of hope. My weary, anxious soul can be fed and renewed being saturated with the words of God.
That Tuesday morning I was so encouraged as I listened to the gospel of Jesus on a secular radio station.
It was a Holy night, but thousands of years later this life is still full of holy moments like that. His is still alive in the hearts of every believer and holy moments are happening all around us,. Moments where God reaches into the darkness and shows us His light.
As dark as the world seemed then, and still seems now, there are holy moments all around us.
Expect them and wait for them.