Sound Theology by Colleen Butcher
As we soon begin the Advent season, I am humored by so many that think Advent and Christmas are the same thing. They are definitely related, yet distinctly different. Christmas is the celebration of “Christ With us”. Advent is the celebration of the expectancy of the “Coming Christ”. Yes, I know that Christ is already here… I’m talking about the reason for the holiday, the focus of it if you will. The metaphor I will use to display the difference is this: Advent is like waiting for the first pot of coffee to brew. Christmas is like that first sip. Advent is the anticipation of what’s to come. Sometimes there is such pleasure in the anticipation. Christmas is the taste, flavor, energy, and clarity the coffee brings.
Before Christ can be born, He has to gestate. He is eternal, yet for our sakes, he spent 9 months in the womb waiting to be born to us. I wonder if He was as excited to be born to us as we are now for Christmas day?
For me, I associate the time of Advent and Christmas with music… ok I associate everything with music, but ah, the music of this holiday season…
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – Traditional Choir
“Breath of Heaven” – Amy Grant
Preview YouTube video O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Traditional Choir
O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Traditional Choir
Preview YouTube video Amy Grant – Breath Of Heaven
Amy Grant – Breath Of Heaven
Some mornings I wake up and say “good Lord its morning”. Some mornings I wake up and say “good morning Lord”. What I desire to do is wake up with words of praise for another day. The words in Col 3:16 come to mind… they actually sing in my mind:
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
When I was a teenager, we sang a song with this verse as the chorus.
Now sing! Now is the time to worship in song!
“Moment Made for Worshipping”
Steven Curtis Chapman
- Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
- All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
- Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
- Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.
20th Sunday After Pentecost
God is a God of restoration. He restores my soul for His namesake. He is in the
business of making all things new. We were a broken-down old house, but we are now a
million-dollar restoration. Jesus came to restore us back to a relationship with our Creator. Let
these songs of restoration cover you today.
“All Things New” by Steven Curtis Chapman
“Here With Me” – MercyMe
This last Sunday, I had the chance to go back to the church I attended as a teenager for a
Youth group reunion. For the first time in over 30 years, we were together again worshiping. The
immensity of the moment hit me as we sang the first hymn.
This was the place where I first learned about being a Christian. This place was my
foundation for everything that has happened since. I was Baptised there, I was called to the
ministry there, I got married there.
First Baptist Stone Mountain still echos in my mind. Though I am no longer a Baptist as
far as my Tribe goes, I am still connected. I will always hear the voices of my youth. I will
always remember the songs we sang. When I hear those songs of my youth, I am transported
back to that place and those people who still mean the world to me. They are part of who I am,
part of how I think, and part of my story.
There are two songs that come to mind as I write this article:
Alan Jackson – Precious Memories
Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill