Well I turned on the radio the other night (keep in mind that was Nov. 12) and came upon a station that has officially switched over to an "all Christmas-all the time" playlist until Dec. 26th. When I get to mid-December, I know I'll be kicking myself for tuning into Christmas music that early, but I just can't resist. It's kind of magical.
There's something that happens to an artist when they switch from performing their "normal" repertoire and try their hand at a few Christmas numbers. Even singers I can't stand, for example Christina Aguilera, have a certain innocent, beautiful quality to their voice when singing Christmas music. Could it be the subject matter that changes them?
So many of the songs written in these modern times are done so to play with our basic, animal instincts and desires.
Revenge to an adulterous man....
Sex on a first date, or while washing clothes in a laundry mat!.....
To kill or be killed....
Hate, Hate, Hate.
Why can't we have songs about forgiving that adulterous man and if possible, rebuilding that broken relationship?
Why can't we have songs about loving your body enough to say, "You know what?" "Maybe I should protect my sexuality from a complete stranger or someone that doesn't yet fully understand my heart"
And why can't we have songs about loving someone in jail instead of sentencing them to death, or keeping that unwanted pregnancy, or starting dialogue instead of starting arguments and wars.
Because loving someone is more difficult than hating them. And when that hate is reinforced through the music we listen to, it helps to sculpt our lifestyle. We start to feel that it's our right to fulfill the selfish desires lurking in our hearts. But here's the thing, our hearts empty as those desires start to become fulfilled. We gain nothing from hate and selfishness, but more hate and selfishness.
So what is it about this time of year? What is it about this Christmas music that warms hearts and inspires giving and gathering?
There was a man who was born about two thousand years ago. He wasn’t peacefully born in a cute, little barn.
He was born to a persecuted Jewish couple running from the law. His mother accused by other townspeople of being a whore.
He was born in a dirty livestock barn, most likely a cave-like dwelling, in the cold desert night.
He grew up with little money or material possessions.
As he grew older, he tirelessly spoke and witnessed to those would or would not listen.
He was then betrayed, denied by his best friend, mocked, beaten, tortured, and left to die suspended on a couple beams of splintered wood.
Do you know what he said to the people that did this to him?
He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
In the end he still loved. He still forgave.
Christmas is the time we honor this man’s birth. Maybe we don’t have the exact date, but it’s the time we’ve chosen to honor Him. We honor a new type of peace born into this world. A peace selflessly given to all.
So the next time you hear your favorite holiday tune remember, it’s not Santa comin’ down the chimney, it’s Jesus coming into your heart.