Peace On Earth, It’s True! 25 Days of Christmas Music: Dec 18

The events in Newtown, CT have brought about many responses in the past 4 days. As I have watched and listened I have a growing concern about the responses that I have seen and heard. Sadly, it seems much of the discussion is shifting to a discussion about gun control. Politicians and the media are speaking out on the need for gun control. Many Christians and others are posting pictures and comments that discuss the fact that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. This may be a meaningful discussion in days to come, but today broken hearted parents are at cemeteries burying their children. It is not the time and place for this discussion, because it is not the answer.

A friend tweeted this quote today: “Send us affliction and trouble, blight our dearest hopes if need be, that we may learn more fully to depend on thee.” – John Broadus. This is what seems lost in all this discussion, the Gospel is not being proclaimed.

I was told by friends and the media the answer was to go home and hug my children, which I gladly am being reminded to do. However, this is not the answer either. What I need to be reminded is to draw my children close to me, so that I can remind them this truth from Deuteronomy 6:4-9

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  (ESV)”

This is a teaching moment, because our children are listening for answers in the uncertainty of this moment. These were children in schools just like them. Teaching our children about me controlling the situation or the need for guns to control the situation is really another call for self reliance, which is exactly why we are in this messed up fallen world.  The great reminder out to be to sit down and lead them to fear God, to remind them not fear the one who can kill only the body, but him who can kill both body and soul.  We and our children are longing for stillness in the midst of chaos.  God has told us how this is possible.  “Be still, and know that I am God”.

The closest to an answer I have heard offered in the media is from the parents meeting in Newtown proclaiming they want to turn this into something positive or that they don’t want this to be in vain.  What positive can possible come from this?  Better gun control?   That will be a band-aid for an epidemic.  The heart of the problem is the heart of man.  President Obama wrote on the whiteboard in the school at Newtown “your in our thoughts and prayers”.  If good is to come of this situation and our prayers, then our nation needs to be reminded that our prayers to Allah and gods of syncretism do no more good than the prayers of the prophets going up to Baal.  Many of the moments of silence and prayers going up will bring no more effect or peace than those prayers of the prophets of Baal that they thought would bring down fire.  Our hope is not in our prayers, it is in the Power of God.  When the one true God is called upon, fire rains down from the sky.

God has promised hope already, in the form of a baby, born to be a Savior.  The angels declared a message of Peace, of Hope, of good news.  “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  It is the gospel that is needed in this day and hour. It is true that “God with Us” can bring peace to broken men in a fallen world. What message of hope are we proclaiming?  Where will we find hope?  Be reminded, “Is there anything too wonderful for God?”

In your heart you


know it’s true
though you hold no expectation
in the deepest part of you
there’s an open hesitation

but it’s true
kingdoms and crowns
a God who came down to find you
it’s true
Angels on high
sing through the night alleluya

heard it told you
think it’s odd
the whole thing fraught with complication
the play begins with
baby God
and all His blessed implications

but it’s true
kingdoms and crowns
a God who came down to find you
it’s true
Angels on high
sing through the night alleluia

alleluia, alleluia

Oh it’s true
kingdoms and crowns
a God who came down to find you
it’s true
Angels on high
sing through the night alleluia

12 Days of Christmas Music: Come and Worship

Bebo Norman’s rendition of Come and Worship is well done. Christ’s birth and life is certainly reason to Worship. Lloyd-Jones says it well

The incarnation is the supreme example of fulfilled prophecy, the supreme example of God’s faithfulness to his promises…. What God did when he sent his Son into the world is an absolute guarantee that he will do everything he has ever promised to do. Look at it in personal sense: “All things work together for good to them that love God”—that is a promise—“to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28, KJV). “But how can I know that is true for me?” asks someone. The answer is the incarnation. God has given the final proof that all his promises are sure, that he is faithful to everything he has ever said. So that promise is sure for you. Whatever your state or condition may be, whatever may happen to you, he has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5, KJV)—and he will not. He has said so, and we have absolute proof that he fulfills his promises. He does not always do it immediately in the way that we think. No, no! But he does it! And he will never fail to do it.

Merry Christmas to All!

I hope you all enjoy celebrating the birth of the Christ child with your own traditions!  One such tradition that some steer clear of and others partake in is good ole saint Nick!  Mark Driscoll had an interesting historical post on him today that we read with our children tonight.

Nicholas was born in the third century in Patara, a village in what is now Turkey. He was born into an affluent family, but his parents died tragically when he was quite young. His parents had raised him to be a devout Christian, which led him to spend his great inheritance on helping the poor, especially children. He was known to frequently give gifts to children, sometimes even hanging socks filled with treats and gifts.

While much of what we think of when it comes to Saint Nicholas is myth, it was interesting to read his true legacy.  The myth part has taken on a whole lure of its own, and John Piper reminds us why the true Christ child is the only hope in contrast with Santa Claus.

Again, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!