I was at church the other night and someone said, ‘I can’t wait until Thanksgiving, so I can wear my Christmas clothes. We all know that the marketing guru’s have been moving the day of rolling out Christmas items well before Halloween, and even into September. I am not here to knock those who just can’t wait to celebrate the season. Even in ministry I can see the draw of the Christmas season. Easter may be the most important holiday to the Christian Calendar; however, without Christmas and celebrating Christ’s coming we couldn’t know the reality of the Easter hope.
I drove my car the today, and the local Christian radio station was playing the non-stop Christmas music that it has been playing for nearly nine years, after Thanksgiving Day. Many of the songs were not hymns, or even contemporary songs of praise to God. Instead I was bombarded by “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” and “Baby it’s cold outside.” Later, in the day as I drove our preteen goddaughter home, we heard a couple of current Pop artists singing some of the same old Christmas tunes.
I began to wonder why are people seem hunger to hear the same old songs at Christmas? I began thinking, as I sang to some of the Christmas tunes, of how these songs make me feel good. They remind me of my childhood. They remind me of good times, family, and friends. Then it dawned on me. We may replace the holy songs, with more secular tunes, but most people seem to have an inner need to return to the familiarity of hope. Music is one of the best ways to connect in our hearts and minds, to that place of hope inside.
This Christmas season, as we prepare our worship services and messages, don’t forget the familiar, the traditional, the standards. It is a great thing to introduce the newest songs to the congregation. Yet, in a season when we are drawing people who are in need of hope, to know the greatest hope which is found in Jesus Christ, we are responsible to help people to find their way. People may only come into our sanctuary to be reminded of better times, or hungering for hopeful times. We have the opportunity to help them find their way to the hope of the Savior. In leading them into to worship that hope may just be in the traditional things that spark something they recognize in their heart, something that has been lost in the world of sin and chaos.
So, this year celebrate the joy of the Christmas season. Return to some familial tunes, and may God help you to help others find the joy too.