One of the greatest things about Christmas is the music. Whether it’s people singing, or humming, songs about the birth of Jesus or a church musical, songs of praise ring through the air. Oh sure, we sing a lot of praise throughout the year in church, but during the Christmas season, the songs are everywhere. The secular songs are more uplifting even if they don’t sing about God. It is a time of joy for most people. As an aside, we must remember that sometimes people have bad things happen during Christmas, and the season brings sad memories, not joy. When you encounter people who have dealt with tragedies at Christmas, just love them. Don’t try to force them into your Christmas mold.
That being said, we have a lot to praise our God for each and every day, not just around Christmas. Tom Lehrer, in his cynical song, “A Christmas Carol” described the way too many of us are throughout the year. “On Christmas day you can’t get sore, your fellow man you must adore, cause there’s still time to rob him all the more, the other three hundred and sixty-four.” Well, maybe we don’t think of ways to rob our fellow man, but our tune sure changes outside of the Christmas season. What would happen if we spent a whole year committed to praising God? What would we praise Him for? “Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” (Isaiah 12:5-6)
Oh sure, you’ll praise Him at church all year long. That’s what church is for, right? We should be praising God at church. The problem is, that other than during the Christmas season, we don’t do much praising of God outside of church. At Christmas time, we know it would be petty to complain about the problems of life – at least to others. So we sing the songs and we celebrate. When the season is over, we can find plenty of things to complain about. The bills come due. It’s too cold – unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere in which case it’s too hot. Why am I stuck with this old clunker of a vehicle? Why are the kids messing up in school? And I could go on. Most of us have a good long list we can choose from when we want to complain.
We forget how much we have to praise God for. Every morning we should remember His salvation that was given to us through grace. Talk about an amazing gift. We can praise God for the beauty of creation. We can praise God for our health. If yours isn’t so good, remember that you are at least drawing enough breath to be living. We can praise God for providing enough food to eat and stop complaining that there’s nothing in the house to eat. We can praise God for shelter. We can praise Him for His word and the ability to read it. We can praise God for those who protect us. We can praise God for those in the persecuted church who continue to share the love of Jesus in spite of persecution. Have you noticed a pattern here? So often we focus on the negatives of life because they are more immediate and make a bigger impact, or so we think. Even in the troubles, though, we can praise God that He loves us and He is working out a solution that we will discover if we are faithful.
Oh Lord, You have done glorious things! You have loved us so much that You sent Jesus to die for our sins. You have created this amazing world. You are present with me right now and You care about me. You show us Your love in so many different ways. Let my life be a symphony of praise, letting others know of Your greatness.