December is filled with music. Some of it is good. Some…well, not so much. The continuous strains of happy tunes can sometimes feel empty as we get crushed in the Christmas trappings of our culture. The emotions of our cultural Christmas can mask the meaning and pathos of a Christian consideration of the coming of the Messiah.
The first coming - the first advent - of Jesus Christ was also accompanied by music. But it was of a different nature than what we usually hear today. It began with songs of deep lament - songs that conveyed great pain and a profound yearning for change. They progressed to songs that attempted to express the inexpressible - songs that proclaimed what God has done in the coming of Jesus Christ. We’re going to look at the “composers” and “singers” of these first strains. In looking at their portraits, we can see ourselves, our needs and our hope.
Advent - the four weeks preceding Christmas - is a time to prepare our hearts. It is a time to acknowledge our need. It is a time to consider what the world and our lives were like before the coming of Jesus. And it prepares us to understand the depth of joy that comes from the arrival of Messiah.
Our prayer is that our hope and joy will not be crushed by the pressures of our culture’s December demands. Rather, we hope for the liberation that comes from understanding what God has done in Christ, what He is doing and what He will do.