O Come, O Come, Immanuel

Bernard Gabbott - Sunday, 27 November 2022

O Come, O Come, Immanuel

God’s mob are a singing people. This is what we will do forever (just look at Revelation 4, 5, and 7!). It is what God’s mob have done right throughout their history (just look at the Psalms!). It is what characterises our gatherings now. And singing has been crucial at key turning points in church history (Luther’s songs set to pub tunes applied truth to the minds of people!). But what IS a Christian song? In fact, what IS a song? Here is a rough definition: ‘Truth to music, to stir emotion and to invite a response’. Now, there are probably many things to quibble with in such a definition, but it is a starting point to help us think through what we do as we sing as God’s mob. First, ‘truth’ is central: the truth of the faith. Second, this ‘truth’ is set to ‘music’ – and music is both an aid to memory and a spur to ‘emotion’. Third, the stirring of ‘emotions’ is crucial for songs – and emotions are a gift from God, rightly used to respond from deep within our natures as His image-bearers. And, finally, this ‘response’ is the right application of truth warmly received, in daily life.

Scripture References: Isaiah 11:1-16, Isaiah 9:1-7, Matthew 1:18-25

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