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The Song of Zephaniah

Bulletin: December 4, 2016
Newsletter: To Come

ScriptureZephaniah 3:14-20Psalm 85:4-10Luke 1:5-17


Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

fbcsermon_zeph3-17There is a lot of pressure to celebrate at Christmas. This isn’t the easiest time of year to feel down and discouraged. Maybe you’ve heard someone say, “C’mon, where is your Christmas Spirit!”

“C’mon, where is your Christmas Spirit!”

Insisting to someone that they must celebrate is kind of silly and awkward. I mean, you can tell someone to sing, you can tell them to shout, but you can’t make someone have joy in their heart. And yet that is exactly how Zephaniah’s song begins, “Rejoice with all your heart! C’mon, where is your Christmas Spirit!”

Zephaniah didn’t simply insist we feel joy. Zephaniah sang about the unfairness, the helplessness, the shame of life. All the best songs of Advent include the good reasons people have not to feel like celebrating.

Zephaniah also sang about some reasons we might let joy into our hearts in the midst of our troubles. At the centre of Zephaniah’s song the reason for our celebration is that God is right here with us, God loves us, and God is working to make everything right. Zephaniah’s song leads us to Christmas – God choosing to be born as one of us, choosing to make things right in the gentlest and loving way.