Saturday, December 21, 2013


I struggled to join the symphony of voices, the choir of Christmas carolers in the sanctuary, but singing words of worship felt a little like pressing hard against the wind.

"Hypocrite! How can you even move your lips, let alone mouth lyrics of praise when you are steeped in sin as you are?"

Justly charged! The accusation successfully stifled me.

Oh, a punctuated strain escaped here and there but mostly it was a forced effort, a weak and guilty lilt of pseudo-sacrifice that left my tongue slumped in sorrow for the sin-bullied joy that ached for freedom.

Still I sang on, my will to worship weak, but prevailing.

And then it happened.

Praise offered to Him becomes the promise returned--
The Covenant of Christmas;
To us a child is born, and by His mercy we are saved, 
not by things which we have done, 
but by the renewing of the holy spirit.
Luke 2:11*Titus 3-5

To sing, worship, pray, and proclaim the Good News isn't dependent on how well we perform in 'doing life'.

It is the commitment to believe and persevere in spite of the fact the only thing we have to offer is a broken and contrite heart and sin-diseased bent.

Amazing love, how can it be,
that thou my God
would die for me!

Surely He surrounds us with songs of deliverance.1

For song is the love language our soul knows best.

In the end, it's always God that does the giving. That does the singing. That does the bringing and the beckoning and the blessing. 

Oh pious and pitiful people that we are;
If your sins are many, what does that do to him? If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand? 2

We offer up refrains by rote, void of true vision and He returns it as the canticle of Christmas--Advents love story reaching down for us!

A spiritual tug of was was taking place in the pew that night.
God, impelling my sin-bullied spirit to sing, and the enemy trying to silence me with a false focus on self and sin instead of where it aptly belonged--on the grace of God.

It is for freedom you have been set free!  
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened
again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1


Did you know that Noel is a french term that can mean Carole, or song? 3

Did you know praise silences the enemy? 4


1. Psalm 32:7
2.  Job 35:6-7
3. Noel-Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Wikipedia
4. Psalm 8:2

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