My church congregation is quite small and has been without regular piano accompaniment for years. Occasionally, we attempt to sing a song and find ourselves all over the spectrum of notes and tunes. However, that has not dampened the enthusiasm of the praise and worship.
It happened recently that we knew the tune to a popular song but the familiar words eluded us. I later noted that we were in a favorable position. How easy it is for us to know the words but not the tune. Sometimes we become so accustomed to the familiar routines and totally miss the greater purpose of why we do those things.
We Christians sometimes know the “words,” but give no attention to the “tune” of how God interacts with us. Worship has become a ritual. It’s all about “getting it done.” We just go through the motions with no thought to the tune or rhythm of our relationship with God.
Knowing the “tune” means we are aware of the nature of God. When we don’t know the nature or mind of God, we’ll miss the whole purpose for which we were called and why Jesus came as one of us. Jesus came as one of us to reveal the Father to us.
In his lifetime, Jesus performed many miracles. Those miracles were revelations of the very nature of God the Father. Jesus showed the nature of God when he touched the leper who hadn’t felt a human’s touch in years, multiplied the loaves of bread and fish to satisfy the hunger of the multitude, raised the dead and comforted those who mourned, calmed the storm to bring peace and turned water to wine to bring gladness. The acts of God reveal that the nature of God is to want to be with His creation – to commune with His children – to enter into their lives and turn things around.
The nature of God is to give eternal life to all who would believe in the precious gift of His son. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son and whomsoever believeth in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. There was no greater miracle that the birth of Jesus.
With the birth of Christ, we see that the nature of God is to give light and hope to people who live in darkness. “The light shineth in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:5. In Christmas, we see that the nature of God is to give forgiveness to the sinners. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” Matthew 1:23.
Christmas shows us that the nature of God is to bring love and revelation to people who feel unlovable. The first to receive the message of the wonderful news were the lowly shepherds.
Christmas is about the nature of God who gives grace and truth to all who are tired of being afraid of punishment and trying to follow rules. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” John 1:17.
Christmas shows us that our God is unlike anything that we could have ever imagined. Who would imagine a king being born in a stable?
Just as my congregation sometimes struggles with the words to songs, yet keeps the tune alive in with our understanding of a loving Father, may we all remember that Christmas is not just about knowing the words, performing the familiar holiday rituals, but knowing that He is a God whose nature is to love and abide with His children. All He requires is that we believe in His son and allow him to enter into our lives. Don’t forget the “tune” of Christmas.
Kathy Houston of White Hall is pastor of Christian Fellowship Center of Grace Communion International.
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