Sermon Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Devotional Reading: Psalm 96:1-2, 10-13 (below)

O sing to the Lord a new song;
   sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
   tell of his salvation from day to day.
Say among the nations, "The Lord is King!
   The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
   He will judge the peoples with equity."
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
   let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
   before the Lord; for he is coming,
   for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
   and the peoples with his truth.


The reading for Christmas Eve begins with an invitation to "sing to the Lord a new song." It seems that music always accompanies the coming of the kingdom. At Jesus' birth (the inauguration of the kingdom) the angels sang: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased" (Luke 2:14). Between the two advents of Christ, the church now sings and prays: "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Still, we long for the future consummation of the kingdom when all things will be made new. We look forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb when we will sing with a great multitude "like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, 'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns'" (Revelation 19:6-7). May the music of the kingdom fill our hearts this Christmas season. Sing to the Lord a new song!


1. Why do you think singing always seems to accompany God's mighty works and the coming of the kingdom?
2. What "new song" do you think God is inviting you to sing? What "new song" is he inviting our church to sing?


God of all ages, in the birth of Christ your boundless love for your people shattered the power of darkness. Be born in us with that same love and light, that our song may blend with all the choirs of heaven and earth to the glory of your holy name. Amen.


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