There are only two sorts of people in the world. Those who play Christmas music before Thanksgiving, and those who wait until after. Coincidentally, or not, this corresponds with two other sorts of people: those who are wrong and those who are right. Let the reader discern which is which. Nevertheless, Christmas is a uniquely musical holiday. Our ears are met with carols, jingling bells, and “Merry Christmases” at every turn.
In the Psalms, the Jews’ ancient songbook, we read this:
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.Psalm 34:11-14
David, the Psalmist, invites children to come and listen, to incline their ears to hear what he has to say. If they desire long life, full of good, he has instructions for them. Those who have ears should hear what the Word says to them. Our tongues are to not utter lies or slander or other sins of the mouth; and we are to depart from evil, do good, seek peace, and pursue it.
But we’ve essentially done the exact opposite. We’ve lied, whined, complained, slandered, twisted the truth, found out a whole multitude of ways to do evil. To top it off, peace is a foreign concept to this war-torn planet. Our families, cities, and nations have been in a perpetual feud. So, it would seem that our lot is not going to be long life full of good. Rather, life will be cut short, and it will be full of evil, and that will be exactly what we deserve. The wages of our sin is death, after all (Rom. 6:23).
The angels, when they told the shepherds about the newborn king in Bethlehem sang to those lowly shepherds of God’s glory, and a peace which He was bringing by the coming of this new King (Luk. 2:14). And this was all declared to be “glad tidings (Luk. 2:10).” The Psalmist calls to all of us, to prick up our ears and listen for God’s good news. This year, keep your ears open to listen keenly to what those glad tidings are and what they mean. Amidst all the caroling, the laughing, the excited squeals of joy, keep your ears wide open to hear the good news which God sent to mankind in the form of a child in a manger.