Tis the season to make merry–or to pretend merriness. A lot of the latter happens. The season that’s supposed to impart great mirth too often abounds with earthly stresses and heartaches that do anything but that.
Methinks following the directives of Psalm 105:1-5 will do way more to encourage a joyful spirit than all the parties and paper-wrapped presents and cute Christmas cards about friends and family combined. For one thing, its to-do list starts right off with giving thanks, and a lot of us have personally seen the positive effect a gratitude-aimed attitude can make on our psyches in almost any situation. Then the passage tells us to call on the name of the LORD. So, with gratitude to Him and the inviting of His active presence, we’re off to an excellent start toward joy. (See yesterday’s post for more on these two “mandates.”)
Now let’s see what further directions this good Psalm gives us:
(More) Really Important Stuff to do Right Now for the Holidays
#3 – Make known His deeds among the peoples.
There’s no better time for this than Christmas. No matter how much people point out a connection between the season’s “merry-making” activities and ancient pagan or just earthly, non-Christian traditions, the word “Christmas” does contain the word “Christ,” and people still can’t get away from the old Christmas carols (of which I seem to hear more on secular radio stations than on the nearest Christian network!) Crèches still pop up here and there, stores sell figurines of angel messengers, and even the most ignorant US citizen knows there’s some connection between Christmas and a special baby in a manger.
But Psalm 105:2’s instruction goes beyond setting out a crèche or saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” It tells us to make known God’s deeds.
How shall we go about this? Just an inscription in a note or Christmas card or a Family newsletter, about God’s grace at work in the past year or in our lives in general or just such a word interspersed in conversations will do it. The important thing is that we don’t forget the Blesser amid all the blessings we’ve received from Him, don’t forget what great things He has done for us, or forget to tell others about them.
#4 – Sing to Him; sing psalms to Him.
As we drive around on errands, bake our cookies, clean our homes, let’s do this. Singing our way through such activities isn’t multi-tasking! It’s the whistle-while-you-work principle, which moves work along more smoothly. Let’s sing carols with our children when we tuck them into bed at night, or initiate carol sing-alongs at parties. Even when people around us need silence, we can make melody in our hearts (Ephesians 5:19).
But note the direction of the singing Psalm 105 mentions: to Him–not just to each other or to whomever we’re serenading in a program or caroling session–but to God. What a wonder and privilege, that we tiny beings can sing to the Creator of the whole Universe—even with crackly, croaky voices, or even by silent song in our hearts–and it blesses Him!
Let’s have fun with this. Let’s give thanks! Let’s call on God’s name! Let’s tell what great things He’s done! And let’s make melody in our hearts and voices. Let’s enjoy a truly merry Christmastime!