Advent Week 1 – Noel

Well it’s that time of year!  The Christmas season is upon us!  Is it a time of dread or anticipation in your household?  In your church?

For me, I love Christmas music so this season is full of just that!  I play it on the radio, on CD’s, on my piano and guitar, and even on Christmas movies.  For some though, Christmas music is just a bunch of boring, over-sung hymns.

If you are a worship leader, a.k.a. anyone on a worship team, I would challenge you to shift your focus this holiday season.  We stand up on the stage, not to be heard by the masses, but to lead others into the presence of God.  This season is an opportunity to do that with folks you might not get the chance to come in contact with in your church on a weekly basis.  So change how you look at the Christmas music you are now practicing (hopefully) week in and week out.  Look not to perfect your performance of it, but to perfect your understanding of it.

Obviously, you are going to work to perfect your art form.  We say it isn’t a performance, but of course it is.  In all we do, we perform to the best of our ability with the talents He has given us as an offering back in praise to Him.  That goes for music as with ANYthing else we do.  What we hope though, is that the performance is not an act.  More important than any polished performance is a heart of worship.  To lead worship, you must worship.  If it is a humdrum experience for you, it will be humdrum for those you are leading.

To lead worship, you must worship.

How do you understand the music you perform?  Here are some ways to start.  Look up each of the songs you are singing and/or playing.  Find out who wrote them and see if you can learn what inspired them to write that song.  Discover what passages of scripture were used to write the lyrics, because many come straight from the Christmas story and prophecies in scripture.  Read aloud to yourself that passage, in context, and see what revelations God offers as you “hear the word” (Romans 10:17).

Finally, if these practices inspire you, as I believe they will (you are an artist!), jot down some lyrics of your own.  Write down your thoughts about Christmas.  Who knows!  Maybe you will come up with a whole new Christmas song that you can use in your church!  Pour words of worship onto a page and see where it takes you.

This song was my own inspiration from researching the hymn, The First Noel.

Noel by Michelle Cobb

This is the first week in Advent, so let me leave you with this passage foretelling of the coming of the one who paid for our sins.  The broken relationship with God would be restored and comfort would come to a wounded people.    Isaiah 40:1-11 (NIV)

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