O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
One of my favorite things about this season is the music. During the month before Christmas we sing songs that point to the coming of our Lord at Christmas, we hear Christmas and holiday songs on the radio, it seems that during the month of December the world is filled with music.
And in just a few days, we will be gathering together to sing, to celebrate, to praise, because in just a few days we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord.
I was so excited as I put together the bulletin for our Christmas Eve service, partly because as the pastor it means I get to pick all of my favorite Christmas songs, but mostly because while I pieced together the Order of Worship, I got to reread the story of the birth of Jesus, and I couldn’t help but smile.
I couldn’t help but sing to myself each of the carols that guide us through the story.
This story we celebrate each year is the new song we sing to the Lord, the song of hope, the song of joy, and the song of love.
And knowing that, I also know that for many the songs on the radio, the music everywhere, the story we share, can bring us sorrow. Maybe you are missing someone you lost. Maybe that carol reminds you of them. Maybe you are far away from those you love, relationships have broken, or you are just having a difficult Christmas season.
Last week I got to help lead a “Blue Christmas” service with other pastors in the area. This service was created for those who are not finding much joy this season – to remember, to reflect, to pray, and to sing.
We closed the service singing the first verse of “O Come O Come Emmanuel”:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
And even in the midst of grief, in the midst of loss and sadness, a light can shine in the darkness – for us that light is Jesus, Emmanuel. I hope that this song brings you a smile. I hope that you can sing this old song to the Lord. I hope that whether you are filled with joy this season or struggling with difficulties, that you know these songs, this story of Christ born in a manger, this hope, is for you too.