Pastor's Pondering


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Christmas Discussion Thread

by Duane Mabee on December 7, 2022

I saw an interesting discussion thread about Christmas music and worship.  It started with a worship leader admitting that he doesn’t enjoy Christmas music and finds it difficult to worship to.  That ignited a firestorm of responses, which, as you can imagine, were all over the board.  They even got quite heated.  Some adamantly defended Christmas music as worship.  Others sympathized with the original post. 


One person wrote, “This is the saddest discussion thread I’ve ever read”, then he proceeded to take the original poster to task, quite disgusted that anyone would even question the use of Christmas music as worship.  His post, however, demonstrated that his primary concern wasn’t worship, but nostalgia. 


Relax, I’m not about to start another debate over whether Christmas music is or isn’t worship.  Something else about the discussion thread stood out to me as though it were written in bold letters, even though no one ever addressed it or seemed to recognize it.  It’s that Christmas impacts each person very differently, and other do not see this season the same way we do – with good reason – and we should be sensitive to that.


For some, the Christmas season is the highlight of their year.  They may be octogenarians, but every year they look forward to Christmas like little kids trying to stay awake to see if Santa comes.  But for others Christmas isn’t the “hap-happiest time of the year”.  It feels like someone is announcing on every public address system, TV and radio station that they are alone and lonely.  It is not a season of wide-eyed wonder and expectation, for them.  It’s a time when their disappointment is magnified beyond belief. 


I’m not saying that we should or shouldn’t see Christmas music as worship, nor that we should or shouldn't get excited like little children.  My encouragement is that we should look around us and see how this season is impacting other people.  We shouldn’t assume they are feeling just like we are.  We should rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Like Jesus did that very first Christmas, we should incarnate ourselves into their world so we can minister to them and with them where they are. 


This Christmas will be a very difficult season for several people I know personally.  The message of Christmas is that God loves us so much He came to be with us and to make it possible for us to be with Him for all eternity.  One way to communicate that love to others would be to see the Christmas season through their eyes and be willing to be with them – really with them – so we can point them to the love of the Savior.  That would be so much better than debating whether Christmas music is or isn’t worship.