Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSPINNING MY GEARS: Music In Church


      With Christmas right around the corner, hymnals are being directed to the sacred music of the Advent season. My family had been jamming to festive music long before it was reasonable. Fortunately, we have evaded the debate about when it is genuinely acceptable to start celebrating my favorite season by limiting it to our car, home and office. Now that we are securely into December, we can safely discuss how Christmas music keeps my gears spinning.

         • There’s deep theology in Christmas music. As is the case with all music, sacred and secular, not all Christmas songs are created equal. I’m confident Mary knew. Contrary to “Away in a Manger’s” celebration of Christ’s divinity, I know He was also fully human and that the Bible is silent on whether or not the infant Messiah cried. Despite some exceptions, most traditional Christmas music proclaims profound truths about God’s nature, work and plan that the Bible affirms. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is one of my favorites. Try unpacking “God and sinners reconciled,” and you’ll realize why.

      Theology in corporate singing gets me excited about serving in ministry. I know only 20% of the sermons I prepare and preach are retained by those who hear them. There are some Sundays I am thankful for this reality. Contracting an earworm from the church’s gathering and time of praise is a long-lasting byproduct of singing together. Knowing that the truth about God is being replayed in an individual’s brain is a salve to my worrying pastoral heart.

         • Christmas music prepares the way for gospel conversations. The Scrooges that insist Christmas music should be limited to an “appropriate time of the year” usually appeal to the persistent presence of Christmas music wherever they go as their justification. More than any other time of year, we’ll surely hear Christmas music playing over the speakers in our shopping centers, restaurants and public squares. If the humbugs could convince me that sacred music being prevalent was a bad thing, I’d be tempted to join their cause.

      In 2021, I started keeping a record of gospel presentations and spiritual conversations on my phone to keep myself accountable and more effectively follow up with people I met. Just looking at the data, in the past two years, I have had three times as many opportunities to present the gospel and five times as many spiritual conversations in December compared to the average of every other month throughout the year. The same is only just beginning for 2023. That alone is enough to keep my gears spinning.

         • Christmas music evokes the past and points to the future. There is an undeniable nostalgic element to Christmas music. People from all backgrounds have memories tied to various melodies and lyrics from the holiday season. The best Christmas music does more than draw upon personal memories, though; it reminds us of God’s purpose in sending the Son to dwell among man. One of the reasons we should avoid Christmas music with vanilla lyrics is to keep the main thing at the center of our worship.

      The season of hope is not limited to reminding us of the first advent. It points us to awaiting and anticipating the second advent that is yet to come. When memories of my past trials and failures are conjured to the forefront, I’m grateful for the promise of a future in Christ. My gears keep spinning when I hear Christmas music as I rejoice in the promise of seeing Christ return to this earth. Christmas music has a particular propensity to cause me to realize that my life is not removed from the miraculous events of Scripture. In the present chapter, I’m among those waiting for His glorious return, and I have work entrusted to me while I wait.

Derrick Bremer
Derrick Bremer
Derrick A. Bremer grew up in Northwest Arkansas where he met his wife, Michelle, in their 9th grade English class. Derrick surrendered to the gospel ministry in 2018 at Temple Baptist Church of Rogers, Arkansas under the leadership of pastor Wade Allen. Derrick was ordained in 2020 when he was called to serve as the pastor of Denver Street Baptist Church in Greenwood, AR.