A CHRISTMAS DAY DEVOTION
“The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior Who saves! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in silent satisfaction, and in His love, He will be silent and make no mention of past sins, or even recall them; He will exult over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (AMPC)
GOD WITH US
The longed-for Messiah had arrived and with Him His kingdom. While the world was busy with its concerns, He slipped into the world as a babe on a silent night. And as He did, a host of angels (some 60,000) gathered to sing of His great glory and gift of peace.
They sang, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14 (NIV)
The angels sang to an insignificant group of shepherds in the middle of nowhere. No fanfare. No parade. No fireworks. Just a chorus of angels echoing the love of God for the world that would come through a baby boy called Immanuel – God with us.
Theologian Karl Barth says, “‘God with us’ means more than God over or side by side with us, before or behind us. It means more than His divine being in even the most intimate active connection with our human being otherwise peculiar to Him. It means that God has made Himself the One who fulfills His redemptive will. It means that God has become man in order to take up our case… God Himself intervenes as man.”
“God with us is God’s for us in Jesus Christ.”
John speaks of this, and its fulfillment brought through a baby destined to die on a cross.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (John 3:16-17, The Message)
“It was all love, and the angels gathered to sing of it.”
GOD SINGS OVER YOU
God’s angels and God’s people singing songs of praise to Him after momentous events is a fairly common occurrence in scripture. But did you know that God sings too?
Some would argue technicalities to discredit His voice, but I believe God sings. Whether you think He does or not might depend on your understanding of song. The difference between speech and song is continuity. Speech is interrupted by breaks in the sound. Song, on the other hand, is marked by a continual, uninterrupted flow of sound.
God’s message is one of uninterrupted flow. The message of His song is love – a kind of love that also flows uninterrupted. It would seem right that we call it singing.
But did you know that God sings this song of love over you? He does. His immense love for you causes Him to sing. His song is not based on what you have done but on what He did through Jesus. Through Jesus, He sings an uninterrupted stream of compassion, mercy, and grace over you.
“The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior Who saves! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in silent satisfaction, and in His love, He will be silent and make no mention of past sins, or even recall them; He will exult over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 Amplified Bible).
God’s song is not just an uninterrupted flow but and uninterruptible flow of love. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
GOD SINGS SO THAT WE CAN SING
We sing of His love for us because He first sang over us – in the person and work of Jesus. His love transforms us, and in turn, it changes our song.
Do you hear the music?
God sings, “Do not fear. In the beginning, I was with you, and I will be with you until the end. I am with you now, in the in-between, in the dark and hard places you now inhabit. Listen as I sing My uninterrupted song of love over you until the end of time.”
One day Jesus will come again, and we will reign with him forever. On that day, we will fall on our faces and sing with the mighty chorus of heaven,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”(Rev. 7:11-12 NIV)