I know I’m gonna take a lot of flak for saying this, but I think many Christians give contemporary Christian music the short end of the stick. No, it is not a style that resounds with every single person, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t great value in it. What’s more, people accuse modern Christian music of having less theological depth, and while there are songs that fall into that category, not all of this genre should be categorized that way.
For instance, there is a Christmas song by Point of Grace called “Let There Be Light,” and it has helped me a great deal as I think through, prepare for, and process the Christmas season at hand. Every time I hear it I am struck by the amazing substance of its message, so I have posted it today in the hope that it will challenge you as well. Here’s an excerpt from the song that will give you the basic thrust of its teaching:
From the beginning the Father
Had a magnificent plan
Revealed through the law and the prophets
To fulfill the redemption of man
He spoke after centuries of silence
In the midst of a still, starry night
And Emmanuel came down among us
And the Father said “Let there be light”
Let there be light!
Let it shine bright
Piercing the darkness with dazzling white
Hope for the hopeless was born on that night
When God sent his Son
And said “Let there be light”
What a beautiful picture of Christmas: “Let there be light!” And how perfectly it draws together the larger narrative of God’s story on earth. In the same way that God declared “Let there be light” in Genesis 1, Christmas is a kind of creation story as well. In both Genesis and the Gospels, God pierces the darkness with a great light, and creates beauty out of nothing.
And that is what Christmas is: God re-creating that which we had destroyed with sin. After the Fall, we were just as directionless and devoid of hope as the nothingness from which God created the world. In fact, we were worse off, so it was necessary that God create anew.
That is why Scripture refers to Christians as “new creations.” God is starting over and building us into something that is entirely other than what we were before. Each new Christian life is a creation story in and of itself. And in this way, the story of God’s saving action on behalf of humanity has epic proportions far greater than Lewis or Tolkien ever could have described. The story of God’s creative work on our behalf began with the creation of the universe, and continues even today.
With each new Christian life, God is declaring to the world “Let there be light! I am making a new creation that will reflect my Son and shine like light in the darkness!” In this way, Christmas is not merely about us, about presents, or even the finite reality of Jesus in a manger. On the contrary, Christmas is one piece of a much larger Christ-story in which God tirelessly reaches out to His children in love so that we may live out this light to the world around us.
So during this Christmas season, we should remember the fitting words of Isaiah 9:2, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,on them has light shined.” When Jesus was born God declared to a dark world, “Let there be light!” That is why we celebrate.