Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Get Your Christmas Rock On!

I'm not sure where you stand on Christmas music. I personally think hearing 57 different versions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in one month is more than enough. 

But as I was selecting music for our church's first Sunday of Advent, it dawned on me. We're sick of Christmas music because of what it represents to us. 

  • We just fought over a new toaster with built in MP3 player on Black Friday. 
  • We'll hear everyone and their brother sing Silent Night for the next month.
  • We've dreaded pulling out the Christmas decorations, already knowing it will be mid-January before we find a chance to take them down.
  • We don't know how we'll make enough desserts for all the parties we're going to, or enough money to pay the credit card for all the gifts we want to buy. 
We're sick of Christmas before it ever comes around because it means adding one more thing on top of our already too-full schedules. But this isn't what it is supposed to bring to mind.

This isn't what it meant for those ancient Jews who were looking for a Messiah. Take the hymn, Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus for example. We could lump it in with all the rest of the Christmas music and all the headaches that come our way with it. 

Or... we could read the words again and remember why we celebrate Christmas. 

Come, Thou long expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free.

Long expected. 

Long anticipated.

For a long time, we have hoped for. 

If we looked at the Christmas and Advent season like this, we wouldn't groan every time we heard a Christmas song. We'd remember that we are celebrating the dawn of a new day, the introducing of a new covenant and the beginning of a new hope. 

I still don't know how full my Christmas party schedule might get, or what I'm buying my wife. I may need to turn off the radio every once in a while still. But I will push myself to remember.

This season isn't about me. It's about the long-expected Jesus. 

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