There were sheepherders camping in the neighbourhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Saviour has just been born in David’s town, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. (Luke 2:8-14 – The Message)
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of working with people in a downtown ministry known as the Friendship Room. During the lead up to Christmas, Julie (not her real name) asked if she could sing at the annual Christmas party. Julie was someone who frequented the drop-in as a service user, but gave back to the ministry through volunteering. Julie said she sang every year at Evangel Hall, so it sounded like a good idea.
The night of the Christmas party, Julie stood in front of the crowd of people that gathered and with piano accompaniment, began to sing “O Holy Night”. Now, this can be a tough song for an experienced, good, and trained singer. Those words would not describe Julie. She was not very good and the performance was really bad. She did not sing in any particular key. In order to try and get the high notes, she would sing louder, but still not hit the high notes. And, did I mention she sang all three verses? She may have even repeated the chorus once or twice for effect.
There was a nice round of applause following the performance. Julie was truly pleased with how the song went. And as I reflect back, God would have been pleased with Julie. Who knows what the angelic choir sounded like on the night that Jesus was born, but I am sure that to God, they were no better, no more authentic, no more filled with praise than Julie was the night of the Christmas party.
This Christmas, let’s remember that the angel announced a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody.
A Saviour has been born for everyone.
Jesus was born for everybody.
And we can all sing about it.
As we gather with friends and families this holiday season, remember the people we work with and the people staying in our shelters and may we all sing together, “Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him”.
Merry Christmas and thanks for striving to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.
– Executive Director, THHS
May the hope of God lift us up today,
May the peace of God bring rest to us today,
May the joy of God overflow from us today,
May the love of God be real to us today.
And may we share this hope, peace, joy, and love with everyone today.