Sam Hardman, 12/17/2019
Did you know that singing Christmas carols with a true heart is, fundamentally, an act of war? You may think this is a joke – or the musing of a madman. But on the contrary, it is an entirely serious claim made in a moment of singular sanity. This war is not primarily cultural or political, nor do we wage it against any man, woman or child. These are its victims and we desire their rescue. No, this war is in the spiritual realm and the enemy against which we fight is the ruler of this present darkness. Our weapons therefore must be spiritual.
When we sing carols we are wielding such a weapon. We are proclaiming the sure word of God – and our eternal hope – that the holy Son of God has come into our broken world as a lowly babe. We are asserting that the infant lying in the manger is “Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing,” that He came “to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found,” that “nails, spear shall pierce him through; the cross be borne for me, for you.” We are declaring where our allegiance – where our loyalty – lies as we call each other to join the shepherds and the wise men bowing in homage to this King.
In His name – as we sing – we defy the enemy who would have murdered Him as an infant if he could; who would stalk His path and tempt Him to turn away from the will of the Father; who would stir up animosity against Him at every turn; the enemy who taunts us and slanders us and persecutes us and divides us and who would seek to cause us to turn traitor, if he might, and even then still devour us. We expose his lies and we fight against them with mysterious and powerful truths.
Carols may be sung as a mere act of sentimentality. They may be sung for entertainment. They may be sung thoughtlessly and carelessly and aimlessly. Or they may be sung knowing that a spiritual battle still rages, and that, like it or not, we are in it. But our Commander and King has armed us with the great and glorious truths of the incarnation that cannot be vanquished by any lie, no matter how clever. So let us sing with uplifted voices and with full hearts, delighting in the story of the birth of our Savior and King, and in the midst of the battle, let us stand on the ground he has won for us in utter confidence and joy, strong and courageous and without fear.