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How To Worship When All Is (Not) Well

advent21

Here we are in the Advent Season again. It is a time of waiting and anticipation as we celebrate the birth of Christ. This time is filled with so many things! There are parties and gatherings at school, work, and in our homes as we not only anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth, but gather with family and friends during this holy-day season. And, of course, there is the music of Christmas! Choirs, orchestras, bells, chipmunks, and more – you name it, they are all singing and playing to celebrate the special time of year.

One of my favorite songs is “All is Well.” Do you remember the words? Here they are in case you can’t remember them all:

All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love's light
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ's come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing Alleluia


All is well, all is well
Lift up your voices and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia

All is well

Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia

(Michael W. Smith)

There is no doubt they titled the song correctly! You can’t miss it can you? The message is sung over and over again…..all is well!

I truly hope that you can sing these words and they are true in your personal life. I pray that all is well with you this Christmas season. However, we know that we live in a broken, hurting world, and that for some – all is not well. I could go through a list, but you know the needs and hurts as well as I. Some are quite evident, and others are quiet and hidden from view.

So the question is this: what do we sing, how do we worship and celebrate the birth of Christ when all is not well? How do we “tune our hearts to sing Thy grace” or sing “joy to the world” when there is no joy or peace in our life?

There is no doubt, it’s hard to sing in a storm. The storm is relentless. The winds swirl and the forces seem to never let up.

However, there is hope!

The answer is even found in the song. All is well, not because of our circumstances; not because the world is a perfect place or because things are going well in our personal, daily days. We can sing “all is well” because our focus is not on these things. It is exactly the opposite.

All is well, not because of us, but because of Him. All is well, because, as the song says…..”born is now Emmanuel, born is our Lord and Savior.” Emmanuel – God with us. Our Lord and our Savior – the Redeemer and hope of the world. The hope of us - of you and me.

So, go ahead and sing. Sing it loud and sing with joy! Sing and worship because all is well as we put our hope and trust in the One who makes things well. Ready – eyes up, good breath – now sing!

RCL

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