Sing a New Song
As most pastors know, trying to get a congregation to sing a new song is like banging your head against a wall. You find the perfect song to accompany that week’s message and offer it up like a shining jewel to your music director or team. Only to be told, “We don’t know that one.” And there is no interest or willingness in learning it. Now, magnify that ten times for Christmas music. The season is short, and it is almost impossible to introduce a new carol to a congregation longing to sing their traditional favorites.
Isaiah proclaims that God is going to sing a new song, one that shouts his praise from one end of the earth to the other. That new song appears amongst us in baby in the manger, Emmanuel, God-with-us.
Sadly, many first-century Jews weren’t ready to sing the Lord’s new song. They knew what to expect in the Messiah, and Jesus didn’t fit the mold. This wasn’t the song they knew, and they weren’t really interested in something new.
Advent is a time of preparation, which for many of us means getting out the old traditions. How do you feel if you sing a new hymn in worship during Advent? Do you roll your eyes? Or do you open your mouth and sing with passion?
What about the new thing that God will do among us this Advent? The Holy Spirit is at work, so we should expect something to happen. Are we open to the new song coming in Christ?
Come, Holy Spirit, come! We are ready to sing a new song. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Allison Byerley is the Pastor of Mariposa UMC in Mariposa, CA.
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