How easy it would be to let centuries of humanity snuff out the power of His message of hope. Our selfishness and distractibility would be our undoing. All would be lost, if it not for our wise and insightful Father. He uses all the world that is at His disposal, including the passions of a 17th century composer, and generations of musicians that came after him.
It would be easy for these words of power and hope to be kept on fragile scrolls, or confined to dusty pages of unopened Bibles. Instead, He allowed the heart of one man to be inspired and create a refrain that would echo in the hearts of others for centuries. He uses concert halls, radios, and flash mobs to remind us of His Message.
My December devotions have a particular purpose. I seek to peel back the often suffocating layers of culture and humanity and cling to what is true about God in all seasons. I don’t want to get lost in the colored lights, or lists, or excess and lose the closeness of walking with Him. I don’t want to be like a parent that spends so much time managing the life of a child that he or she neglects to build relationship with that child.
Let us cast off the tinsel for a moment. Let us still the rustling of shopping bags and the rolling of pins over ginger dough. Remove all judgment of the musician and commercial context. Lay down the instrumental clutter. Listen. Listen past the orchestral swells to the Message in these words that were written long before they were put to choral triumphs:
“His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!” Isaiah 9:6 (RSV)
WONDERFUL, MIGHTY, EVERLASTING!
God’s words still proclaim power and hope. They still point to Jesus. They still call men to Him.
Who DOESN’T desire a source of life wisdom—a counselor who listens and guides with infinite understanding and your best interests in mind? God trumpets Christ’s power here. He is a leader we can trust, who can bring victory in the gravest of battles. He is faithful and doesn’t disappear when the sale is over, the season is done, or the relationship loses its glow. He outlasts them all. It is He who brings peace to our souls and reconciles the warring forces of sin and holiness by His grace and sacrifice.
Today I am thankful that God is faithful. I am thankful that He uses the natural world, human creativity, the internet, and even those who do not choose Him, to draw my heart to Jesus. Today, and going forward, I will ask His hand to push aside the commercials, the shiny paper, the demands of parenting and working, and focus on the Truth as it is proclaimed in all of that. I will look for Him in all the usual and unexpected places.
Do you care to join me? There’s always room.
“In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; Him shall the nations seek, and his dwellings shall be glorious!” Psalm 11:10 (RSV)