And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
(Luke 2:13 – 14, ESV)
It’s not surprising that we sing a lot at Christmas. There was a lot of singing going on back then when Jesus was born – singing and eruptions of poetry or prophecy (Luke 1 and 2). One of the hallmarks of Christianity is that it is a singing faith.
Much of our singing is an expression of joy and delight in the God who loves us and has rescued us. We are expressing emotions that run far deeper than our intellectual assent to the great truths God has revealed to us. Music and poetry touch something deep within us. The Psalms encourage us to bring to God in song, not just our joys, but our sorrows too. The Psalmists are often singing in the dark.
On my recent visit to China I encountered much singing. Distributing Bibles to those who were eager and hungry to have their own copy of God’s Word was always accompanied by joyful singing to the living God who has revealed himself to us. In the rural churches the people have so little in material terms, yet they were full of praise to God. Nabil, from Iraq, reminded us on his visit to Scotland that Christians living in fear of persecution are still able to find words of praise for their Saviour.
As you sing this Christmas, even if it feels like ‘singing in the dark’, may there also be an eruption of joy from deep within that says ‘thank you’ to Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us.
Thank you for your partnership with us in Bible work through this last year.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas and God’s rich blessings in 2013,