Summary: Let us prepare for the birth of Christ with songs of joy and thanksgiving. Let us sing as God’s people with one unified voice. Let us come closer together as God’s children as we sing His praises.
The Hope of Singing
There was once a woman who was talking to her parents who had recently retired. Her mother had always wanted to learn how to play the piano, so her father bought a piano for his wife’s birthday. A few weeks later, the woman asked her father how she was doing with the piano.
“Oh, we returned the piano,” said her father, “I persuaded your mother to switch to a flute instead.”
“How come?” the woman asked.
“Well,” he answered, “because with a flute, she cannot sing while she plays.”
Not all of us are musicians. We are not all great singers. But that’s all right. We can still make a joyful noise. Because to God, a song sung from our hearts will always sound like a beautiful melody.
Without the great Christmas hymns and carols, our Christmas season would be boring. Of course, this year has changed a lot of things. Every year, we have our Carol Service and 3-4 weeks of carol rounds. We go to each other's homes and sing songs and rejoice in the Christmas spirit with merry hearts. However, now, this year 2020, we have what you may call, “virtual caroling.” According to USA Today, more than 300 caroling videos have already been uploaded on YouTube this year alone. Spreading cheer virtually in your own homes.
Today’s prophecy from Isaiah tells us that when the Messiah comes, there will be singing. Isaiah 35 writes, “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God. Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come . . . and the ransomed of the LORD will return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness (joy will overtake them), and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’
Isaiah vividly illustrated the joy of the Lord which will come with the birth of our Savior. “They will enter Zion with singing . . .” Songs are very important to us at Christmas time. Every Christmas is a musical Christmas. Singing is an important part of this Christmas season. Singing expresses our joy and thanksgiving, it brings us closer as a body of Christ, and it allows God to speak to us.
1. Singing Expresses our Joy and Thanksgiving
Singing gives us the opportunity to express our joy and thanksgiving. The joy of salvation, joy of redemption, joy of forgiveness etc., The Gospel of Luke reads, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:13-14,)
Music is a wonderful gift from God. There is a quote attributed to Victor Hugo “Music attempts to express what cannot be said about something, on which it is impossible to remain silent.” - Victor Hugo. This helps to explain why music is such an important part of Christmas.
The famous preacher once said, “I used to know an old church member; and the first thing in the morning, when he got up, he began singing a hymn. If I met the old man during the day, he was always singing. I have seen him in his little workshop, and he was always singing, and beating with his hammer. When I said to him once, ‘Why do you always sing, dear brother?’ he replied, ‘Because I always have something to sing about.’ Our lives are full of blessings and miracles. We too, like the old man, have a lot to sing about. And even more, sing praises to the Lord for the salvation He has given to us.
In Isaiah’s prophecy, Isaiah 35:10 “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away the people that they will one day return to Zion.”
Zion is symbolic of Jerusalem, of the Promised Land. Isaiah was writing during the time of the divided kingdom. The land had been conquered numerous times by their enemies. Prisoners of war had been carried off to become slaves in distant lands. Isaiah prophesied that, one day, they will be able to return home to Zion, the city of God. For the Israelites, this will be a time of great joy and so they will sing. For Christians, Zion is that city of God, which is heaven. And again, when we enter the place of eternal promise, there will be singing.