Christmas! Tis the season to be jolly? Christmas evokes a vast array of emotions. It’s a season of dazzling lights, scented chocolates, amazing food, overabundance of presents, and precious family time. It’s full of peace, love, and joy. However, for many, Christmas can also be overwhelming, exhausting, or sad when loss is remembered and grief is being dealt with. Especially for church leaders, this can be a time where we are stressed and deal with pressures from balancing church and family life. We can get so busy that we lose sight of the true reason for the season—Jesus Christ. We are restless until we find our true rest in Him. I’m guilty of that at times. That is why I love all the Christmas music, because it centers my soul. Here are four reasons why enjoying Christmas music is so vital.
1. Christmas music reminds me of the gospel.
I need to remind myself of the true gospel every morning when I wake up. In our sin, our response to life is often disconnected from the theology that we believe. Pride, anger, jealousy, envy, and discouragement all whisper a false message that will lead us away from Christ. Paul David Tripp writes, “Every day you preach to yourself a gospel of your loneliness, inability, and lack of resources or you faithfully preach to yourself the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I enjoy Christmas music because my heart is prone to wander, and it gives me the opportunity to sing the story of the gospel. It gives me a chance for these words to sink in from my head to take root in my heart.
2. Christmas music is a great witness to others.
This world is observing us during Christmas, seeing how Christians serve and remain faithful to our families, neighbors, and everyone around us. A simple way we can reveal Christ to others is through song. Christmas carols share the story of the gospel. They are rich in truth and filled with Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Scripture is alive and active working in hearts. You never know when the Holy Spirit is changing a person’s heart from the hearing of His Word.
3. Christmas music brings all ages together.
No matter what, you see all generations singing these timeless Christmas songs. They have the power to unite singers and listeners alike. These songs have stood the test of time, because you’ll see a 5-year-old belting out, “O Come All Ye Faithful,” just as much as a 95-year-old would. There’s familiarity that all of us connect with as we have shared experiences. It brings us back to cherish all the memories of the holidays as we can recite each word of these songs. Christmas is one of the few times in all of the year where everyone will unite and celebrate this festive occasion.
4. Christmas music teaches the congregation to sing well.
Carols bring confidence to a congregation, prompting them to sing, since many know the songs. Our congregations need to know that their voices matter. We sing our praises to the Lord, of course. However, there is more than a vertical aspect to this. There’s also a horizontal importance as we sing to one another, encouraging one another in this life (Colossians 3:16). Our vertical focus in worship is on God and our horizontal focus is on others. When we sing boldly and triumphantly, “Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee,” the person next to us is reminded that no matter what fears or sins they are dealing with, truly their hearts will be restless until they find their rest in Christ. Our congregations need to be encouraged, knowing that their voices carry the tune of salvation, redemption, hope, peace, and joy everlasting.