20 December 2010

A Very Holy Night

I have admitted to my slight obsession with Christmas music before. I simply love Christmas music. But this year I have only purchased one new album plus one song – I have a weakness for anything Jack Johnson, even if it's "Rudolph". It is a miniscule, almost negligible amount, especially in comparison to previous years. But it is part of a larger symptomatic problem – the lack of Christmas cheer. I have been suffering from general malaise, a bit of the Grinch has crept into my heart this year.

With the lack of fresh music I have been listening to K103 in the car; the station plays Christmas music all day every day from Thanksgiving until Christmas day. This year, with my glum outlook, I have listened more critically to the music that comes through my rattley speakers. One song caught my attention and I couldn't help but think about how the lyrics reflected some seriously bizarre theology:

Hang your stockings and say a prayer…
He doesn't care if you're a rich or poor boy,
He loves you just the same.
Santa knows that we're God's children,
That makes everything right.
Peace on Earth will come to all
If we just follow the light
Let's give thanks to the Lord above,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Do you recognize the song? Are you singing along now to "Here Comes Santa Claus"? I've sung this song countless times, but had never thought of the ramifications of what it is saying. Is Santa Claus one of God's 'agents'? How does Santa know that we're God's children and how does that make everything right? We're to thank God for Santa Clause? It is weird, to say the least. This year all of the "fun" fluffy silly Christmas songs have left a sour taste in my spirit. I have been craving the hymns and songs that reflect the true reason of Christmas. I need to be reminded of what we are actually celebrating. I need to get back to Jesus.

Another song also caught my attention, but for the reason of its theology being good and sound, reflecting the nature of the season, and this year I feel the truth of it more than in years past.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

"Until the soul felt its worth" – that phrase from "O, Holy Night" struck me like a lightning bolt one day. Until the soul felt its worth – my soul felt its worth – my soul has worth – because Christ came, my soul can know its worth - my soul has worth to God, so much worth that Christ came as a little baby to redeem it – my soul has worth because Christ assigned it, by His proxy. What a marvelous thing! Let us rejoice, be thrilled with the hope that Christ has given us, for no longer are we chained by sin and wayward; we should offer up a proper response:

Fall on your knees…
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Holy_Night - this link has some interesting historical background on "O, Holy Night" as well as different translations.

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