Third Wednesday of Advent: Background Music

By Dean Weaver

Advent Devotional | December 19, 2018

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”

—Zephaniah 3:17 (Read Zephaniah 3)

Advent and Christmas are times to sing.

I love to sing Christmas carols—in worship, in the car, and at my desk. The beauty of a good song is that it can take God’s truth from our heads to our hearts, transforming us from the inside out. Maybe that is part of the reason why we feel different during the holidays. Songs of God’s incarnation, our longing, and His presence have the power to transform us.

Would it be a surprise to you that we are not the only ones singing?

Being the Christmas season, you might think I am referring to the Angels whose Hallelujahs ring eternal at the birth of Messiah. That is true, but there is more.

Did you know that God sings, and in fact, even as we sing to Him, the Lord of the universe actually sings over you?

The truth of God singing over me first washed over me at the beach.

It was at the end of a particularly long and arduous season, and I found myself sitting on a bench at the end of Oyster Quay, staring, lost, into the ocean. I had brought a devotional with me to the water’s edge to give some direction to my reflection. I don’t actually remember anything special about the content of the devotional, but I did notice the suggested scripture texts at the bottom of the page.

I turned to Zephaniah 3:17, and the Holy Spirit stunned me.

I read the words, “The Lord is with you.” That got my attention. I knew the truth that Jesus was Immanuel, God with us, and it began to move from my head to my heart.

“He is mighty to save.” Yes, Jesus’s name means “God saves.” This truth struck me deeply.

Then the shocker: “He takes great delight in you, and quiets you with His love.”

What? God delights in me? And just like that, the Holy Spirit wrecked me, and I began to weep.

God delights in me! What a stunning truth.

Do you know that God delights in you? The next verse will help that truth move from your head to heart.

The final stanza of this verse is: “He will rejoice over you with singing.” That’s right, God takes delight in you so much that He rejoices and sings over you!

Before that moment at the beach, it had never occurred to me that while I sing the words of my favorite carols in worship, He sings over me.

This season, as you sing songs to the God who is mighty to save, listen carefully, even beyond the angels. You may just hear a voice singing songs of delight over you.

Dean Weaver is Lead Pastor of Memorial Park Church, which partners with the CCO to reach students at La Roche College. From 1986-89, Dean served as a CCO campus minister at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.