I heard Taylor Swift singing backup. Rounding the corner, I saw the main event.
My daughter and her daughter were enjoying a Christmas gift with great enthusiasm.
The joy and passion with which they sang were contagious. They had me moving with the beat.
The Christmas season has always been a time of songs: choirs, hymns, people singing Christmas carols as they move from home to home, Christmas pageants, and even the old standbys that speak of the whimsy of this holiday, like Frosty, Rudolph, and Santa. Sacred songs and secular classics.
When I heard my girls singing, it reminded me how much music adds to our celebrations and lives. This has been a reality for thousands of years; there are many songs written throughout the Bible that were reminders of great things that God had done, songs of remembrance and commemoration, and songs of praise. The whole book of Psalms is a book of songs–of joy, celebration, grief, and lament.
Songs express the depth of our emotions, both through the melody and lyrics. A tune can often say more to our souls because of the feelings it evokes–joy or sadness, celebration or mourning. Really good lyrics are poetry set to music, speaking of things that impact our hearts and minds.
I’m not a fan of the cars that drive by, their music on so loud that it makes me feel like I’m vibrating. Is it a statement to all the vehicles around them that they can listen as loud as they choose, and nobody can stop them? Are they genuinely enjoying what they’re hearing, or is their hearing so impaired from the high decibel levels that they aren’t able to appreciate their music selections?
William Congreve penned the statement, “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast”, in his 1697 play, “The Mourning Bride”, indicating that music has the power to soften a tough heart, calm exasperated nerves, refresh wearied souls.
That’s exactly why God sings over us songs of love and delight.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
Zephaniah was a prophet living during the time of King Josiah of Judah, and he foretold of the time when the people of Israel would be redeemed from the hands of their oppressors because God would not abandon them. They would experience consequences for their poor choices, but He would never forsake them. Even when they walked away from Him.
The songs God sings are songs of hope and deliverance, of joy and delight in us whom He has made. Too often we can’t hear them because we’re listening to the lies of the world around us, the hateful, hurtful things that weigh heavily on our hearts and make them hard.
As much as my girls took joy in their singing, the joy of the Lord for us is infinitely greater. He longs for us to know Him and the compassion of His heart for us. He sings a continual song of grace and love over us.
Will you listen?