By Ricardo Velázquez
During World War I, accounts say a spontaneous truce happened in the trenches between German and British troops when soldiers from each side took turns singing Christmas carols. When the British began to sing “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” the German troops joined them in a chorus heard through the night on that “peaceful” battlefield. It is such power that makes the songs of Christmas so great, and we enjoy them because they are among the most recognizable songs in the world—songs that tell and reflect the spirit of the season. They share with the world the message of peace on earth through the birth of Jesus.
Songs have a powerful way of uniting people through compelling messages and the feelings they evoke. They offer such a unique expression of personal stories and experiences. Knowing this, the psalmist asks us not to just sing songs we know, but to sing a new song too! Though not all of us are gifted with musical talent, our experiences with our Savior need to be expressed and shared with all the earth. The message that tells of his salvation is needed still. All the nations need to hear of his marvelous works among all the peoples. Our songs need to share the value we give our Savior, through our praise, our trust, our offerings, and our worship of him.
This season, let’s enjoy our wonderful, traditional carols, but also actively share and express our newest stories of God to a world that needs joy, peace, and goodwill for more than just a season, with new songs of our daily life in him!
Prayer: God of the ages, sometimes you build on the old, and sometimes you do something totally new. May our songs this season capture the joy of both what you have done and what you are doing!
Ricardo Velázquez supports leadership development for the RCA and works with Hispanic church planters. The 2016 Advent devotions were written by RCA church planters and parent churches.