“We know that we live in Him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God,” [1 John 4:13-5:5, NIV]
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” [Luke 2:14, KJV]
The Message that the angels proclaimed to the shepherds keeping watch over their fields by night is one that still resonates in our hearts today: “Glory to God in the Highest, peace on earth, good will to men [all people].” The First Coming of the Savior of the world inaugurated a new era of hope and kindness. While Satan had incited men to shed blood and conquer one another, the Rightful Ruler had now come to conquer the human heart. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” And now because God lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit, we live in God because God lives in us. The love of God, which crossed the frontier into a sinful world has now also crossed the battle line of our heart. Because God lives in us and we in God, the Love of Heaven that loved us first invigorates us with a heavenly hope so that we can love others first –to the extreme that we can love them even if they hate us because the love we now share is not of this world –it’s out of this world! We overcome the world in Jesus because He overcame the world first, and we do so by faith; we sincerely believe that Jesus really can overcome any and every situation –so we pray, believing the Son of God.
Christmas is such a marvelous time of year, largely because of the music we hear. The music reminds us that the Son of God has come, bringing hope to the entire world. The cherished melodies bring us back to the reality that this world in its present form is passing away and it is only a matter of time before the King of kings returns in glory to subdue all darkness forever. The songs remind us that we too are now His harbingers of His hope.
Some of the stories behind Christmas music are equally encouraging. For example, the famous song that first debuted in 1944 in the film “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” did not originally contain such positive lyrics. Hugh Martin originally wrote the lyrics, “Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, it may be your last. Next year we may all be living in the past.” When Judy Garland first read the lyrics, she immediately protested, stating that she would not sing such a dark message during a great war when American troops –and the whole free world- really needed a message of hope. Martin initially protested a change in lyrics, but the majority of the staff agreed with Garland. Martin then rewrote the lyrics to say, “Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, let your heart be light. Next year all our troubles will be out of sight." Garland proved right. With the release of the film, the song immediately became popular with American troops oversees. The song quickly became popular throughout the world as people longed for hope.
This Christmas season (and beyond) when you hear a lyric of despair, rewrite the Message of Hope in someone’s heart by doing good will. Bless the world for Jesus. Walk in His grace, empowered by His Spirit to be a harbinger of hope.