‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year…’ – thus begins a lesser known Christmas song. Although for us who live in South Africa, that’s debatable.
I must confess, in light of persistent loadshedding, my thinking is seldom elevated. The implications of stage 4 and stage 6 (or heaven forbid) beyond is uncomfortable to contemplate.
The Lord’s prayer has us pray for daily bread, not daily wattage. Documented corruption and mismanagement of the situation has resulted in loadshedding which is as good as taking food out of the mouths of the poor. I don’t think He approves.
Persistent loadshedding evokes chaos which sets my thinking in disorder, a profound devolution resulting from a rather simple thing. I see a bunch of flowers and consider that I still get to appreciate the wonders of nature, just not the wonders of industrialisation, at least consistently.
Flowers in a dark kitchen early in the morning. Beauty, but so much potential untapped, unable to be productive because of darkness, inertness and stillness. Like an itch I cannot scratch, profane thoughts.
Another confession: I don’t read enough Scripture at the moment. I know that scrolling through social media is easy and habitual and I know that it almost never edifies, but I do it anyway. Besides, it’s a perverse satisfaction reading the emotional loogies spat towards Eskom for their failure.
In the midst of all of this, for a brief moment in the family vehicle (which thankfully powers itself) this past week, I considered the newest track in my playlist.
Chaos outside with loadshedding, order inside the driver’s seat with power and functioning systems. Brenton Brown’s song about the lamb of God.
I hear this song in the build up to Christmas and I realise that it is describing saints in heaven, drawing from the book of Revelation.
My first thought is that there are no Christmas decorations in heaven. John’s vision is all about God and Christ and the focus of worship in heaven is not about a baby in a manger but mainly about the Lamb of God. From those who study such things, the Lamb is referenced 29 times in the book.
I think of John the Baptist and the Christmas connection with Jesus. Both were in their respective mothers’ wombs leading up to the first Christmas. Their mothers were related. And now, many years later, John seeing Jesus coming out to him to get baptised.
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
This idea echoed in heaven, praise for the Lamb and for what he has done, for all eternity. John, the perceived desert space-cadet with long hair, strange clothes, eating bugs and honey, this hairy, holy hippie of all people understood exactly who Christ was and what he had come to do: the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world.
Prior to the latest loadshedding Armageddon, I found myself in a packed, bad-tempered, materialistic shopping mall. What would have made it fun? A Christian flash-mob, showing up in surprise with some practised moves and rockin’ praise songs.
Not far off what I see in Revelation – the public singing and worship I mean.
Revelation has a reputation for being mysterious and serious. There’s also lots of singing. Enough to make a musical.
An actual musical would be a non-starter.
In the creative mind of a pagan composer, a mockery.
In the creative hands of a Christian composer, dare I say possibly tacky? Heavenly worship is more than merely a production for entertainment.
Each time we engage in corporate praise, about God and Christ the Lamb, its like an echo of what is transpiring in heaven right now.
I wish I could stop thinking about loadshedding – it’s an overwhelming subject. I wish I could quiet the broadcasts in my brain and quietly meditate on Scripture much more. On the occasion that I do the sacred crowds out the profane and it is good.