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   The sound of Christmas carols being played throughout the house, in the car, on the i-pod, and in malls and restaurants, ushers in Christmas feelings season after season for Christians and non-Christians. I find this ironic.

    I went looking for YouTube videos of my favorite Christmas Carol, The Little Drummer Boy. One that I found was by Josh Groban who sang it live on Oprah in 2008. I found this ironic.

 Watch the video for yourself:

 Are seeing the irony here? Let me help you.

     Josh Groban, who admittedly is kind in that he established the Josh Groban Foundation to help children in need in South Africa, is singing a song about worshipping Jesus. To my knowledge, Josh Groban is not a professing Christian. I find this ironic.

    Oprah Winfrey, who publically denies Jesus is the only way to salvation and remission of sins, invited Mr. Groban onto her show to sing about worshipping Jesus on worldwide, live television. Overall, I find Oprah a sad product of postmodern relativism. But I’ll climb that ‘hill’ another day. Still, I find this ironic.

 Ok, I’ll stop saying, “I find this ironic.” Whoops, I just said it.

    Why are they singing these songs? Why does the world sing and shout the songs of praise for Jesus’ birth during Christmas time? Does anyone else find this ironic?

    With the blending of Christian Christmas and Commercial Christmas, the two are becoming less and less distinguishable in our postmodern international culture. Stop and think about the words that are being sung in Starbucks lately: “Hark, the herald angel sing.”  Stop and think the next time you are strolling through the mall shopping for Christmas gifts and hear,

            “Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum 
            A newborn King to see, pa rum pum pum pum 
            Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum 
            To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum, 
            rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, 
            So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, When we come. ”

    Ask yourself in that moment, “Does anyone here actually want to bring their finest gifts to the newborn King to honor him (pa rum pump um pum)?” Is anyone shopping for Jesus? What if we played the hymn, At the Old Rugged Cross? Would the world sing along? What if we slipped the praise chorus, I’m Coming back to the Heart of Worship, into the elevator music playlist? Would the world sing along? I hardly think so.

    I could rant for hours on the irony of the “happy holidays” culture that sings songs written to worship Jesus but can’t muster the strength to say, “Merry Christmas”. Isn’t that funny? It really is funny – and sad. Some who can’t bear to say, “Merry Christmas”, are strolling around humming, “Silent Night, Holy Night…..,” a song that ends with, “..Jesus, Lord at thy birth.” What is my point here? My point is this. Make sure you are worshipping Jesus and not merely repeating carols. Even the world does that! Make sure that your joy is not found in the culture of Christmas. The world does that. Don’t borrow songs of joy and praise to God just to drag them to the cultural Christmas for the sake of piety and conscience.  

    You, as a believer in Jesus, can do what the world cannot. You can worship in spirit and truth. The world may be singing Christmas carols, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23). God is not looking for comfy, cozy Christmas carols to be sung around a crackling fire amidst the blizzard snow (not that we have that option in HK). He is looking for people to worship him in spirit and truth. The world cannot do this!

    Sing all the carols you can this year; sing them with great cheer! Sing them loud, sing them in your car, sing them in your home, or on the bus. Just make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to please God by worshipping in spirit and truth. You can do this!

For His Glory,
Nathan
nathan@ibc.org.hk
www.ibc.org.hk

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