Monday, December 17, 2018

Love Songs

If music were a subject for "Family Feud" and we made a list of the most prevalent theme of songs, love would be at the top of the list.  It was true before Jesus' time, it was true after Jesus was born and it is true today.  Love (in our simple and incomplete understanding) is a prominent reason for music of all types.  In April of 1742 the music of Fredrick Handel (Handel's Messiah originally meant for Easter) burst onto stage.  The Messiah has become a staple of the Christmas season and is a beautiful expression of the humility, love, majesty and ultimate victory of God over the kingdom of this world.  It ends with the words "Forever, Forever" sung about the persistent and permanent love of God that will draw us to a forever kingdom.

Luke 1 (we've spent lots of time there in the last few weeks) contains Mary's Song (the Magnificat) and Zechariah's Song both of which are expressions of awe at how much God loves us.  They are grateful that God has 1) kept His promises, 2) remembered and empowered the lowly and 3) sent us salvation in the person of Jesus.  They are love songs to God.  Handel agreed, and so many people crowded into the Musick Hall in Dublin that they begged women not to wear hoop skirts (the skirts took up too much space)!  Oh, if we were so inclined to make our worship times each week a priority in our lives!

I wonder ... are we still in love with God?  John Wesley recommended 3 simple rules for living life.  The first was to do no harm.  Just don't hurt other people or harm our world.  The second was to do good (I think he said, "Do all the good that you can.").  Then the third rule ... stay in love with God.  It is interesting that Jesus agrees with this rule ... "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind! (Luke 10:27)."

Are you so in love with God that you want to write Him a love song like Mary and Zechariah?  When Handel wrote the Messiah it is said he wrote feverishly from morning to evening for a solid month.  He wrote out of passion for God that he could only express in beautiful music.  People heard it.  They told their friends.  They came and heard.  And that musical composition is still a topic of conversation.  We still stand up when we hear the Hallelujah Chorus!  I hope we stand because we are in love with a God that was, is and is forever to be!  The God Mary said, "remembered His lowly servant."  The God Zechariah said would "shine on those living in darkness ... to guide our feet to a path of peace."  The God who Handel said (quoting Isaiah) "would level the mountains and raise up the valleys."  Maybe it is time for your expression of love too.  Our theme this Christmas has been "Noel, Noel, Come and see what God has done!"  Stay in love with the God that loves you more and better than anyone!  Show that love by your worship, your devotion, your witness and your priorities! AMEN!  Randy

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