Familiarity is a double-edged sword. Familiarity can bring with it a sense of comfort, of happiness and contentment. Think of a favorite shirt or pair of slippers, maybe even a good book. Familiarity, in this sense, can be a very good thing. But it can also have a downside in that the exciting can seem mundane.
It’s easy to feel that way at Christmastime. We know the stories. We know the Christmas productions and all the events. And it’s easy to just want it to be done and over with so we can get back to our regular lives.
I feel like that sometimes. And when I do, it’s because I need to change my perspective. I often find it when I consider the fact that the angels sang of Christ’s birth. Spurgeon said this well:
They stretched their willing wings, and gladly sped from their bright seats above, to tell the shepherds on the plain by night, the marvelous story of an Incarnate God. And mark how well they told the story, and surely you will love them! Not with the stammering tongue of him that tells a tale in which he hath no interest; nor even with the feigned interest of a man that would move the passions of others, when he feels no emotion himself; but with joy and gladness, such as angels only can know. They sang the story out, for they could not stay to tell it in heavy prose. They sang, “Glory to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men.”1
The angels didn’t just speak of Jesus’ birth. They sang. There was no higher praise they could offer, no song so sweet as the one announcing that the Messiah had come. And that’s the thing I want to latch onto. It’s not just the good news being announced, but the way they announced it. The news was (and is) too good to just be spoken.
- From his sermon, “The First Christmas Carol.” ↵