Sound Theology by Colleen Butcher
It’s Christmastide! Christmas is finally here, and with it are the songs dedicated to the newborn king.
This little child in a manger, who depended entirely on his mother and father to survive. Such is the story of this special newborn child that put Himself completely at the mercy of sinful man. Here we find God lying in the arms of His creation… the very creation He came to redeem!
Christmas is more than celebrating the birth of Christ. Christmas has a much deeper meaning. The word Christmas comes from the words Christ Mass or the Mass of Christ. For those who don’t know, The Mass is where the Eucharist (Communion or the Lord’s Supper) is celebrated. The word Eucharist means “Thank You.”
Now bear with me here, but I wanted to use the catholic view of the mass as a metaphor… During the mass, The bread and the wine represent the Body and Blood of Christ. For many people in the Church, the bread and the wine literally become the Body and Blood of Christ. In this transformation of bread and wine, we can see the Incarnation of Christ. The bread and wine are just physical objects, yet when the Spirit of God indwells them, they become Incarnate, just as God became incarnate in that little baby born in Bethlehem so many years ago.
The bread and wine are only physical objects. We are only physical objects. One day, our bodies will return to the dust from which we came. HOWEVER, when Christ enters our lives, we become more than just walking dust; we become the indwelling place of the most high God. We become walking temples! Christ becomes incarnate in us! We become, as Len Sweet says, the Incarnators. As Incarnators, we carry the message of the Incarnated Christ to a fallen world.
For me, Christmas is not only about celebrating the birth of Jesus… it is celebrating the birth of Jesus in us!
So with all of this being said, here is some music that I hope will bless you during this time of Christmastide.
“The Promise” by Michael Card
” A Strange Way To Save the World” by 4Him
“Immanuel” by Michael Card
“Mary Did You Know” by CeeLo Green
This last week, I got to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel. My wife and I were on a cruise for our 25th anniversary. Israel was one of our stops. Being in the Holy Land this time of anticipation was awe inspiring. You see, we also got to visit the Mount of Olives. The place where Jesus ascended and will one day come again. Both places carry a sence of Advent. Bethlehem, the place of His Birth and incarnation and The Mount of Olives, the place of His return and our inspiration. When I say inspiration, I mean it this way. Jesus who was Spirit, became flesh so that we, as flesh, can be made into spirit. Bethlehem was the birthplace of our redemption, our return to God.
Love, The Candle is Love. Purple, Blue, whatever color you want…it stands for Love. The love of God who loved us so much as to come to us.
As we reflect on the love that will come, the love that is here Listen to these songs. Ask yourself: what do they say about love, what kind of love are they talking about, how can we love?
“Seasons of Love” From the Musical “Rent”
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2
“What Love Is This” by Kari Jobe
Now go love.
So Advent is upon us. It brings with it the sounds and smells of the coming holiday season. As I wrote about last week, Advent and Christmas are different holiday seasons. In one season we wear Purple (blue for you Lutherans… lol), in the other we wear white. Advent is a time of reflecting inward, Christmas is a time of wonder. God is coming, God with us. Both are needed. The sounds of this season are separate yet culturally mixed. The radio plays “Oh Come, Emmanuel,” “We Three Kings,” and “Silent Night” as if they were to be sung for the same day. (I’m totally fine singing them together). My point is that when we smush all of the songs together, we miss out on the uniqueness and wonder that can be found in each holiday. So what do we do about it? We sing anything we want. But! We do it with the knowledge that each day is unique and that we should celebrate today, then tomorrow we will celebrate again the gift that that day brings. This Sunday, We live in hope for the Savior who is to come. We live in that hope of the One who was, who is, and Is to come.
“This is the Air I Breath” by Michael W. Smith
“Hope In Front of Me” by Danny Gokey