Monday, November 24, 2014

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Note: This is an excerpt of the introduction to my Christmas devotional.  If you'd like a copy, email me at  The cost is a donation of $10 or more to our World Missions Offering.  You can mail a check to Westbury Baptist, 10425 Hillcroft, Houston, Tx 77096 or donate online at  

As a preacher and occasional writer, it is hard for me to admit this, but here goes: There is a power in music that the spoken and written word cannot match.  I’ll prove it to you: Can you remember a specific sentence from something you read recently, either a book, a magazine article, or something online?  Can you quote exactly anything that has been said in the past month by your pastor, the President, or (gasp!) your spouse?  Probably not.  But I’ll bet you can remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs you knew decades ago; the theme songs of your childhood TV shows; the tunes you danced and air-guitared to as a teenager; the songs that blared from your car stereo on hot summer days. 
            This time of year is full of songs; Songs about Grinches, snowmen, chestnuts roasting and red-nosed reindeer…and wise men, angels, and a little town called Bethlehem.  They all compete for a spot in our mental playlist, their lyrics jangling around in our distracted brains from the time we wake up until the time we drop off to sleep, visions of sugar plums (or credit card bills) dancing in our heads.  But what might happen if, this year, we stop and listen to those words?  The power of music isn’t just that it’s so memorable.  Sometimes a song can change your entire world. But that only happens if you listen.
            That’s what I hope to do with this devotional.  After an introduction on the first day’s reading (December 1), we’ll look at a line from my favorite Christmas carol every day until Christmas Day.  On each day’s reading, I included Scripture references and my own thoughts inspired by those lines.  On most days, I’ve also suggested a specific way you can pray in response to what we learn.  My prayer for you is that you would not just see “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” in a new way, but that you would have a fresh encounter with the One whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.

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