Summary: This sermon takes a look at what a great Christmas song should contain
S120201 The best Christmas song --Romans survey
What is the best Christmas song ever written?
The Messiah by Handel,Joy to the world, Silent night, Away in a manger, Jingle bells . . .
What is the Worst Song: For me it is anything sung by a chipmunk. How about, "Momma got runned over by a reindeer." “Santa Clause is coming to town” The problem is not with Santa, but with the message of the song-“You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout etc.” God is not like Santa Clause. His love is for both the naughty and the nice.
Songs that touch lives,span culture and defy time have found a way to marry the prefect melody and rhythm with the right words. Notice how the melody and the words of Silent Night seem intimately connected. The rhythm of Jingle Bells is a horse trotting pulling a sleigh with bells jingling. You want to take a sip of your hot cider and snuggle down in an oversized chair as you listen to these words, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.”
If we were writing the best Country Western Song we would have to include these themes: red pickups, cowboys, momma, prison, saloons, trains, extra-marital affairs, ex wives, job insecurity, bar fights and beer.
I believe “White Christmas” is the most popular Christmas song ever. It touches all our emotional buttons like: nostalgia, friends and family, hope, peace and optimism.
Lets you and I write the best Christmas song ever written:
What message should the best Christmas song ever written present?
It has to tell the truth about the human condition
Romans 3:10-18 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."13 "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips."14 "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;16 ruin and misery mark their ways,17 and the way of peace they do not know."18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
The melody for this theme must be carried with dissonant chords in a minor key. It must emote sadness, regret, shame, guilt, disease, putrefying stench, numbing coldness, disappointment and failure.
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden and from the presence of God must dominate words, rhythm and melody.
The song will have to deal with the question, “What hope is there for humanity?”, in painful and thunderous dissonance and chaos.
It must remember the screams of parents as Herod tried to wipe out the newborn king in Bethlehem. Don’t forget the Roman, Antiochus Epiphanies, killing the Jewish children and destroying Jerusalem in 70 AD. The bloodlust of the Roman circus as the faithful died for the cause. It can’t leave out the despair of the Middle Ages in Europe.
It will be soured by the sounds of the disruption as we moved the American Indian off his land, and the enslaved the Africans to work our plantations. It will force the stench from Hitler’s furnaces into our musical nostrils. It will remind us of pale, and coughing children who worked 18 hours a day in smoke filled-dark factories. We will hear the cries of soldiers caught in World War struggles dying in pain away from loved ones. It will employ silence to speak for uncounted aborted babies and nations experiencing the empty stomach of genocide so that some multi-national corporation can show a profit. It must see the invisible person standing at the edge of a society to stingy to provide adequate mental health care. It needs to notice the plight of the single parent and the child whose parents said they would and then they didn’t.
Our sad song must reflect the shock and shame of a pregnant teenager who lived all her life bombarded with messages we allowed our children to hear that shouted premarital sex is the thing to do--as long as it is safe sex.
It will feel the sickening crash as planes impact skyscrapers and searing heat and choking smoke kill thousands. It will remember the lost potential by a male dominated society that has freed everyone but it’s women.
Our song must not lie! It must understand the utter hopelessness of the creation called human being. We were created for such joy, and we have brought such pain.
We will now leave the first theme. God does not want us to stay there. He has worked out a way that potentially can change everything.
It must carry the message of redemption--Romans 8:1-3 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.