Why does Christmas never get old?/// Every year in the modern era Christians get concerned that the reason for the season is lost, that Christ is being taken out of Christmas. I honestly don’t think we need to worry about that. If you have it settled in your heart that Jesus Christ, the son of God, was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, fully God and fully man, healed, taught, went to the cross in our place, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, sent the Holy Spirit to live in us, if you have all that settled in your heart and mind, then live that truth, praise God, live in trust and devotion to Him who is alive forevermore and promises eternal life to those that make Him Lord of life.
Why does Christmas never get old? For Christians it’s because we have an unshakable truth in Jesus Christ, and Christmas is a reminder that God loves us so much he sent us Jesus Christ as a baby, an unmistakable message that the world should go on. As long as there is Christmas there is hope.
For those that are not yet Christians, those that are seeking, Christmas is a time of longing, hope, a reminder that a baby was sent by God. As we read the Christmas stories from the Bible, there were amazing men and women who came to faith in Jesus Christ, even though they did not have all understanding of the scope of Jesus’ life… the shepherd’s only knew that a child was born, a promised savior sent by God. Mary pondered in her heart, not completely understanding. Joseph was ready to take matters into his own hands, but an angel spoke to him and he married Mary anyway. Even Simeon, one of the lesser knows Christmas characters (we should put Simeon in the manger scene since it is a composite anyway, Elizabeth and her husband and John the Baptist too). None of them knew the full story, yet they believed) Simeon saw with greater clarity than any other recorded character, yet he only knew Jesus was the One sent by God… For a searching world, for people who are longing for wholeness, may it be enough to know a baby sent by God is an affirmation that the world is going on, there is hope…. This is why Christmas never gets old… it’s a reminder that God loves us enough to provide and answer and to get involved…
Psalm 96 is a traditional Christmas Psalm. The Psalm speaks of a new Song. I’m not going to spend time analyzing every line, because as Chad said last week, you start doing that and some of the punch of the psalm is lost, like explaining a joke.
- Ps. 96:1-3 speaks of newness, a fresh song…
- Ps. 96:4-6 affirms the greatness of God, “Great is the Lord and worthy of glory”
- Ps. 96:7-9 invite us to worship our Great and amazing God…
- Ps. 96:10-12 the message of God’s greatness will be heard by all the earth.
- Ps. 96:12 is a hint of the future, that a day is coming when the God will judge the earth, and his judgment will be right and good. For those that believe, the judgment of God is a positive hope…
- There is a newness to the story, a freshness, something great is happening.
- The Shepherds affirm the greatness of God as the angels surprise them with a heavenly visit… and worship Jesus like almost every character in the story.
- The whole earth is invited to worship the Lord represented by the wisemen who come from afar.
- As you relive the birth of Christ, Mary who pondered in her heart, Simeon who foretold of something greater coming, are reminders there is more to the story a coming day of judgment, for those that receive the Lord the judgment is good…
Christmas is a time to be amazed, to sing a new song, a new beginning. The opening line sets the stage for the rest of the Psalm… These words are about finding wholeness and peace in God (for us Jesus Christ). The way to find peace: sing a new song. One of the things that keeps more people from embracing Jesus Christ is because they get bogged down in their past, they ask for forgiveness but don’t feel it, they fall in love with drama and don’t know how to move past their past decisions. Other people don’t like them changing.
When the Bible says Sing a new song, it doesn’t mean write a brand new song that has never been heard with a new tune and lyrics… it means sing with a fresh heartfelt love for God. A renewed love and appreciation. How do we do that? We do it every Christmas. Christmas never gets old. A baby was born, Jesus Christ; God is affirming he loves us, he sent his son, born of the virgin Mary…
May this Christmas be like a new song to you, a story that never grows old because the love of God is too amazing to take for Granted. A story that speaks to our Great God. A story that the whole world needs to hear. A story that holds the promise of something even greater that is coming… that’s why it’s new, to let go of our past, and to reconnect with God, to simplify our lives, and simply find peace and hope.
In the past few months I was greatly blessed to walk beside wonderfulful woman that found peace with God, Susanne. I had her memorial service a month or so ago. I’ve Known her for about 8 years…. Susanne was in and out of the hospital for many months before she died. On one of those trips it looked like death was close. She told Sally and me a bit of her past. She was one of about 26 kids (that’s the number that sticks in my mind). Her mother gave all the kids away. She only knew a couple of her siblings. She was adopted by a relative, and she was kind of like a Cinderella of the household. On an on her story went, yet she believed in Jesus Christ and trusted him. Susanne lived for several more months.
Back in the hospital I saw her again. She was weak, tired, but still had a will to live. And she was smiling. “I was baptized by the hospital chaplain” she said. That’s awesome I said and congratulated her. Then she went on to explain why she’d never been baptized until now even though she believed in Jesus Christ: “My mother always told me I could never be baptized because I wasn’t worthy.” She carried that haunting truth with her for a lifetime. But now that it looked like she might die, she felt in her heart it was time, her mother was wrong, and the promise of Jesus Christ was for her too.
Sing to the Lord a new song. May the season of Christmas be that opportunity to reconnect with the Lord. To let go of the past and simply turn to Him. A new song. A new hope. A fresh beginning. A recommitment to Him. Be amazed by God. May the whole world be amazed. Like virtually all the characters in the original Christmas story, you don’t need to have all understanding, you don’t need to have it all figured out what it means for Jesus to be fully God and fully man, yet there is an innate knowledge that more is coming, that God’s judgment is coming, and his judgment is good for those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ.
Life with Christ is always new. A fresh beginning… a new song… God sent his son as a baby, an affirmation that there is a future, there is hope, there is life. Amen.