As write my blog today, I am reminded of the powerful lyrics of the song, ‘When the music fades’, by Matt Redman. I believe the Lord has so much to impart to us, from this song, in this Christmas season- a Christmas season, the kind of which, we have probably never experienced before. People have said to me in this Christmas season: ‘this just isn’t Christmas’, and ‘there is not much to be joyful about this Christmas’, and ‘I don’t really feel like celebrating Christmas, this year’. It is true that our experience of COVID-19 has brought these feelings and many like it. Is it possible that amidst all that we feel, see and hear in this season, around COVID-19, that Jesus can still meet us and touch our lives this Christmas season, in a most powerful way? I believe He can, and that’s why I believe the lyrics of the song, ‘When the music fades’, are so important for us.
‘When the music fades, all is stripped away…’- when the music and fanfare and noise of the worldly Christmas and the business and strivings of this season, are stilled and dulled, and even fade into the background, we get a glimpse of how things really are, and indeed what Christmas is really about. A stripping away happens, and we are confronted, with what remains in this season. We have to face the startling question: So what really matters in this Christmas season?
‘All is stripped away, and I simply come’- the Lord has allowed us to experience a stripping away, and a peeling back, during these nine months, under the impact of the COVID 19 virus, to cause us to ‘simply come’ to Him- in our despair, in our fearfulness, in our weariness, and in our hopelessness. He longs for us to come to Him because we really need Him and depend on Him. He desires for us to come to Him, especially in this Christmas season, without pretense, without ceremony, without the interference of worldly passions, priorities, and values.
‘Longing just to bring something that’s of worth, that will bless Your heart’- when the worldly noise, fanfare, and expectations of Christmas, have been stripped away, we are left with what the core of Christmas is: the glory of the incarnation of our God in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 1:14) We now have the opportunity to turn our attention fully to Jesus, the reason for this season. Once we can see Jesus at the center of Christmas, we realize that nothing is more important that our response to Him. Blessing His heart, becomes the main focus of our celebrating Christmas.
‘I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself, is not what you have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear. You’re looking into my heart…’- this stripping away also allows the Holy Spirit to show us things, that we haven’t seen before, because we have been too busy following the prompts, agenda, and drive of the worldly celebration of Christmas. In the apparent emptiness of the stripping away, the Holy Spirit can finally show us where Jesus is in Christmas, and what Jesus desires form us in our Christmas celebrations.
‘I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and its all about You, all about You, Jesus. I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, when its all about You…’ The stripping away allows the Holy Spirit to take us back to the heart of Christmas: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world, to save sinners, like all of us (1 Timothy 1:15). As the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see Jesus, He gently convicts us of how we have got it so wrong at Christmas, by keeping Jesus as the sideshow, and our own celebrations and festivities as the center piece. We now have the opportunity to repent and make right with Jesus this Christmas, and then to show in our changed values and priorities, that we do indeed see Jesus as the reason for this season.
‘King of endless worth, no one could express, how much you deserve. Though I am weak and poor, all I have is yours… I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and its all about You, Jesus.’ The worldly marketing and presenting of Christmas have seen even Christians fall into the trap of making Christmas about the fanfare, the gifts, the holidays, the parties, our family get togethers. As special as each may be, it can never and should never take the place of our celebration of our God stepping into our world, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins, and to open up the way for us sinners to be reconciled to Him: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, would not perish, but would have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world, to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.’ (John 3:16-17). Jesus deserves all our attention, all our worship, and all our celebration this Christmas season.
With this stripping away, brought about by COVID-19, and is its impact on our lives, maybe we finally have the opportunity to get it right this Christmas and give Jesus something that’s of worth, that will bless His Heart. May everything we do this Christmas be an expression of the worth that we attribute to Jesus, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior. As we give Him worth, will He not surely meet us and be born afresh in us, this Christmas.
Bless you all,