From the Sermon Thought...

Rev. Troy Denson

WHAT IS YOUR CHRISTMAS SONG?

(Luke 1:39-80)

There are many songs sang approaching Christ-mass, the celebration of our Lord's arrival unto the earth. Some Christmas songs are secular and simply reflect the happiness of the season. (ex. Jingle Bells). Some Christmas songs are thematic and  communicate giving (ex. On the first day of Christmas). But yet some Christmas songs declare the wondrous birth of our Jesus in a manger (Silent Night). Just as many sing songs of the season, the spirit, and of coming of our Lord, back during the first century, the Jews who were direct witness of Jesus' coming, sang Christmas songs which were prophetic to their participation, Christmas songs which were joyous regarding their experiences, and other sang Christmas songs which were testimony of the Messiah coming. In St. Luke 1:39-45, when Elizabeth (Mary's aunt) discovered that Jesus coming, the miraculous baby (John) jumped in her womb... and she sang a song. In St. Luke 1:46-55, when Mary perceived that the baby in her womb was in fact the Messiah, she sang a song. And, In St. Luke 1:67-80, when God opened Zechariah's mouth so that he could tell his testimony, he sang a song. The question that we are moved to answer this morning in the Advent of Christ is... "What is your Christmas song?".

Welp, my Christmas song is ....
"I'm Available to You".

This message is a topical message to encourage us to become more available for God's services unto others. And when we make ourselves available, we will be amazed with the wondrous things that God can do with very little from us. What is your song? My song is "I'm Available To You".

Reflection:

     This song was originated by Carlis Moody Jr., in 1987-88, during his recovery after he experienced an emergency operation for a fatal heart condition. Since it’s recording by singer, Brunson Milton and the Thompson Community Choir, many believers look to this song as a source of sincere resolve. Likewise, numerous authors quote this song-title’s namesake (“Lord I’m Available to You”) verbatim, as a literary resolution in the midst of confusion, feelings of loss, wilderness experiences, wit’s end, or near emotional suicide. Contemporary author, April Sherrill, included an exact quote in her book titled “Life’s Resolutions”, when she discussed the topic of the loss of strength:

When you reach this point of uncertainty and you can’t find you way out it is best to let go of the wheel of life, throw your hands up, close your eyes and cry out to your source, “Lord, I’m available to you”, because at the end of the day, any success without your source is a failure.[1]

Similarly, countless contemporary authors such as Kandace Jones, in her book titled “Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in the Darkness to Living in the Light ”,[2] Beray Thigpen’s book, titled “The Long Road Back”[3], as well as numerous famous televangelist/ megachurch pastors such as Bishop TD Jakes, in his sermon titled “Weigh It Out”[4] (to name a few), all quoted nearly the entire song in their descriptions of a depletion of all of their internal resources. The sentiment of those who sing this song appears to be an expression of worthlessness with only a sprinkle of hope: God.

      Personally, I sing this song when I am desponded. For several reasons, this song, “I’m Available to You” energizes my depleted hope when I seem to have given up on my life’s mission. First, the chorus stanza which say “My storage is empty…” communicates to God my feelings or status of earthly worthlessness, my hurt, or personal sorrowfulness, as well as spiritual/ emotional depletion. Though the context of this song is about availability, for me it is an availability of the last resort before true disbelief sets in.   

 Next, this song highlights my awareness of others’ needs. Although I am deep in my own despair, I always realize that there are others who are in far worse conditions than myself. Nevertheless, my low estate causes me to put myself on a lower priority than the needy, and I request that if God is not going to benefit or help me, then use me in some way to benefit someone else. At this point, I have given up on my needs, and am now in tune with other people’s agonies.   

Last, this song is prophetic. Despite my feelings of disability, the strong sense of God’s purpose and plan at the start of the song contextualizes the idea that my human body parts can be offered and used to complete His plan: my hands, legs, and my voice. In short, although I have surrendered my conscious input in the matter, all is not for loss. So I am lifted prophetically with surety that if I give my vessel back to the Lord, He will carry out His original purpose and plan. Although I don’t know how God will use me, I have become satisfied or even inspired in knowing that God’s plan will yet be completed through me in some way or another. In reflection, after singing this song for several days or weeks – in my low emotional estate, somehow, I am lifted and am reminded of God’s word through Jeremiah: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).


     What is your Christmas song? What Has God spoken to your heart? What has God shown you for your future? Just in case you don't have a song, I will share mine with you.

(Verse 1)

You gave me my hands
To reach out to man
To show him Your love
And Your perfect plan

You gave me my ears
I can hear Your voice so clear
I can hear the cries of sinners
But can I wipe away their tears?

(Verse 2)

You gave me my voice
To speak Your Word
To sing all Your praises
To those who never heard

But with my eyes, I see a need
For more availability
I’ve seen the hearts that have been broken
So many people to be free

Chorus:

Lord, I’m available to You
My will, I give to You
I’ll do what You say to

Use me Lord, to show someone the way
And enable me to say
My storage is empty
And I am available to You

(Verse 3)

Now I’m giving back to You
All the tools You gave to me
My hands, my ears, my voice, my eyes
So You can use them as You please

I have emptied out my cup
So that You can fill me up
Now, I’m free, I just want to be
More available to You

Chorus:

Lord, I’m available to You
My will, I give to You
I’ll do what You say to

Use me Lord, to show someone the way
And enable me to say
My storage is empty
And I am available to You

Use me Lord, to show someone the way
And enable me to say
My storage is empty
And I am available to You

My storage is empty
And I am available to You, You, You, You
My storage is empty
And I am available to You, to You

 



[1] Sherrills, April. Life’s Resolutions. 30 Days of Affirmations for an Intuitive Understanding and Empowerment. :Upland Avenue Productions LLC, 2012.

[2] Jones, Kandace. Stress to Peace. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: John Hunt Publishing, 2014.

[3] Thigpen, Beray. The Long Road Back. Apopka, FL: Certa Publishing, 2014, pgs. 43-44.

[4] Jakes, TD. Weigh It Out. Fort Worth, TX: Retrieved from Twitter @TDJakes, #WeighItOut.

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