Christmas Music, Worship and Culture

The celebration of Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year.  Radio stations begin playing music sometime after Halloween, and some stores begin decorating and selling Christmas products even prior to that.

Along with this commercialized jump start to the season come complaints from Christians and non-Christians alike.  Christians complain that Christmas has become so commercialized that Christmas is more about shopping than about Christ.  In many ways, of course, this is true – even in the lives Christians!  Non-Christians complain that Christmas is too much about Christ, and desire that we remove Christ from the holiday altogether and proclaim, “Seasons Greetings!” or “Happy Holidays.”

There are many other criticisms of the season, too, from whether we should shop on Thanksgiving Day, to the cost of the seasonal trappings, to the “joys” of being with extended family (which is not always joyous!).  This year, I thought we might want to consider why the early start of the Christmas season, and even the commercialization of it, might be a good thing!

I noticed the other day, while driving somewhere, that most Radio stations have some kind of Christmas music playing.  When I arrived at my location, which was a store (where their sole purpose is to expand their commercial enterprise and sell things!), I noticed that they also had some kind of Christmas music playing.  In fact, as I moved from store to store in my travels, had lunch, and stopped at the bank — each of them had Christmas music playing.

Even more interesting was the kind of Christmas music that was playing.  That is, the fact that Christmas music about CHRIST was being played in all of these places.  Songs about His birth, about His divine nature, about the sin that He came to conquer, about the salvation being offered to all mankind through Him, about the joy of His birth, about the miracle of the virgin birth, about the supernatural reality of Angels announcing his coming, about the poor and the rich bowing to Him as King!  All of this, and more, was being declared freely and without objection.  Truth was being declared.

I was reminded of Paul’s words (Phil. 1:8):

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice.

Let me call on each of us to rejoice this Christmas.  Christ is being proclaimed, even by many organizations that would otherwise deny Him.  In some way, this seems to fulfill some other words of Paul, just a few verses later (Phil 2:10-11):

at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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Posted on December 15, 2014, in Christian Worldview, Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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