On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
~ Zephaniah 3:16–17
There are some Christmas hymns that everyone seems to knows. That’s especially true this time of year. Can you complete the following lyrics? “Silent night…” (pause) “Holy night”. Here’s another: “Away in the…” (pause) “manger”. One of the reasons many people know these songs is that we love to sing them.
What if I told you that there is a song that the Lord our God loves to sing?
Zephaniah told us that when God looks at mankind, he often sees us fearful. What is it that is making you afraid? Is it fears about your financial future? Are you frightened by the state of our world or country? What about death? Does the thought of dying scare you? Maybe what scares you is that you’re wrestling with some sin. You know that God sees that sin every time you commit it, and that thought scares you.
When we come to our Heavenly Father with our fears, God quiets those fears. Zephaniah told us that when God quiets our fears with his love, it makes him so happy that he himself bursts out in joyful song.
If you think Christmas and the beloved hymns made you happy, think about how happy it made our Heavenly Father when his only Son came to earth. Through faith in him, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection took away everything we fear:
- You fear your financial future? In the future, you will live in Jesus Christ’s very own mansion.
- You fear for the state of our world? Jesus Christ is going to make a new heavens and a new earth.
- You fear death? Consider Jesus’ empty tomb. You are going to be raised, just like Jesus.
- You fear your sin? Jesus paid it all. In your baptism, you were washed clean. When God looks at you, he sees the perfection and holiness of Jesus Christ. You have nothing to fear! Absolutely nothing.
That all is “good news of great joy” that the angels sang about on that first Christmas Eve. We hear that good news, and it quiets us…it calms our fears. We rejoice in Zephaniah’s promise: “The LORD your God is with you.” That is what Immanuel means, “God with us.” We sing that this time of year too. “Oh come, oh Come, Emmanuel.” When God hears that song, when he sees that his grace has calmed our fearful hearts, he sings for joy too!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for calming our fears. Fill our hearts with the joy of our salvation. We will sing your praises, now and forever. Amen.
Join us for New Year’s Day Service, Sunday, Jan 1, 2023 at 10:00 AM