In his book Whisper¹, Mark Batterson talks about Dr. Alfred Tomatis and the task of examining the hearing of employees subjected to daily sounds of plane engines. These employees suffered from work-related deafness and voice impediments. He noted that the alterations of their ears were systematically accompanied by vocal deficiencies. He later highlighted that the employees had damaged their voices by damaging their hearing. For centuries the world has been bombarded with a “Tomatis effect” when it comes to Christmas or in particular celebrating the birth of Jesus. We live in a culture where everyone wants to have their voice heard which means little to no listening. People are set in their own vices. If the picture of Christmas ultimately speaks of salvation for mankind, then we need to find our hearing again. Perhaps it’s not the lights or the festivities that strip Christmas bare, but rather our unwillingness to listen. Christmas is often reduced to a religious experience or made to succumb to consumerism. Yet engraved within the brush strokes of the Christmas motif is God’s answer to all the questions of mankind. I believe true Christmas is discovering the voice of love, grace, healing, forgiveness and joy amongst other attributes of God.
Is God’s voice the loudest in our life, or have we been deafened by the sounds and vices of life? The unique messages God wants to speak through our lives start by discovering His voice. I believe Christmas is God physically and audibly intervening in our affairs and wanting to be heard clearly. What God is saying is too important to miss and worth more than anything we do without His instructions. Are we not listening because we’re worshiping an imaginary God in a frame; voiceless, or is His voice drowning in the sea of selfishness and egotism. “Unless we know God to be immeasurably superior to us, we’re proud and do not know God at all,… the real picture of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small dirty object,” wrote C.S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity².
Every stroke in the Christmas motif is a cue from the Holy Spirit. When we take our cues from the Holy Spirit we can change the world. As it is written in the book of Exodus 16:18³,“… whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” Christmas is the generosity and glory of heaven becoming manifest in a sinful world to redeem it. Nothing has the potential to determine destiny like our ability to discern God’s voice this Christmas.
¹ Batterson, Mark. Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God. Multnomah Books, 2017.
²Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. Geoffrey Bles, 1952.
³The Bible. New International Version.