The Sounds of Christmas

A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb

Christmas has always been associated with music and singing. There are community sing-a-longs, Christmas Revels, and local renditions of Handel’s Messiah. With all of this seasonal music happening shouldn’t people understand why, and who, they are singing about. But for many, the Christmas hymns are sung and delighted in for sentimental and social reasons and the music’s theological content goes largely unnoticed. Unfortunately, without a clear knowledge of the One we are singing about, and to, the music of Christmas becomes meaningless.

A popular line from Handel’s Messiah repeatedly asks, “Who is the King of glory?” The thunderous reply “He is the King of glory” comes directly from Psalm 24:10 which reads, “Who is He, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty, He is the King of glory.” This psalm of King David’s celebrates the presence of God coming to dwell among His people when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to the people Israel. What David and the people of Israel experienced in part, we now proclaim as having been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He is our Immanuel, God with us!

Christmas hymns and oratories like Messiah were originally written to lift our eyes toward heaven and worship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Only then are we able to reflect the glory of Christ to those around us who have no reason to sing, because no one has told them about the King of glory!

Merry Christmas to all!