How busy are you this Christmas season? Parties to attend? Social gatherings to plan? Last-minute shopping to finish? Honestly, a lot of that is part of what I look forward to. It’s not every day that I get to bake for people and buy awesome and ridiculously funny things for people I love without having to justify myself.
But I’m one of those people who gets caught up in the celebration while sometimes forgetting the reason for it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a perfectionist. Or if it’s because I get focused on a goal or a project. But it’s very easy for me to let go of the purpose behind what I’m doing and keep soldiering forward, even if I don’t remember why I started. Sometimes that’s beneficial, but other times it’s not such a good trait.
Today’s verses are Colossians 3:16-17.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
I’ve always read this verse like a benediction, like Paul was gracing his readers with the knowledge and/or ability to live by God’s Word. And maybe he was, but as I read this verse today, something stood out to me about it that I hadn’t seen before. Or maybe I just hadn’t thought about it before.
What does that word Let mean do you?
I did a brief bit of Googling to try to find the appropriate English translation, and I didn’t have much luck. And both my normal go-to translations (the Amplified and the Message) both use the exact same word. Let. So to the best of my ability I can assume it means to let, to allow, to make it happen.
Let God’s Word fill your life. You have to let it, because it won’t get there on its own. That’s the thing about following Christ; it’s not a passive activity. You don’t get wisdom from God through osmosis. You get it through growing closer to Him, through having a relationship with Him, and you can’t have a very good relationship if you’re not invested. And that takes time. Loads and loads of time.
I love Christmas songs, and I love to sing. But I don’t always think about what I’m singing. It’s traditional to sing Christmas songs at Christmas time, so I do. I don’t really question it. But when did I last really take time to sing? Honestly sing? Without pretense, without tradition or expectation. Just singing with a thankful heart, like the verse says.
I posted yesterday about how short life is, and that’s very true. But in our brief lives, some things are worth spending time on, and singing is one of them. Whether it’s Psalms or hymns or spiritual songs–or songs without words that allow you to exalt God–or songs with words that still bring honor and glory to Him with their heart–take the time to sing this Christmas season. Make the time to sing.
I grew up in a musical family, so music is everywhere around me. I don’t go anywhere without it. Singing is normal as breathing for me, and I know it may not be normal for others. But if you’ve never tried just singing for the joy of singing, you should. Just sing for God, so He can hear you. So what if you’re tone deaf? So what if your voice squeaks or you can’t carry a tune in a bucket? Know what? That doesn’t matter.
If you can get comfortable enough with God to sing for Him, you can be comfortable enough to talk to Him. And that’s part of what building a relationship is. The more time you spend with Him, the better you get to know Him. And then one day you’ll wake up and He’s your best friend.
But it probably won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen by accident. It’s intentional. You have to let Him in. So stop fighting him, and take time to sing. What better time of year than Christmas? And if anyone complains about the racket you’re making, just sing louder. Maybe they’ll take the hint and start singing too.