“All is well, all is well”: how to worship when all is not well

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Here we are again in the time of Advent. It is a time of waiting and anticipation as we celebrate the birth of Christ.

This period is filled with so many things! There are feasts and gatherings at school, at work, and in our homes as we not only anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth, but we come together with family and friends during this holiday season.

And, of course, there is Christmas music! Choirs, orchestras, bells, chipmunks and more, whatever you want. They all sing and play to celebrate this special time of year.

One of my favorite songs is “All is Well”. Do you remember the words? Here are them in case you don’t remember them all:

All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
‘Cause tonight the darkness has fallen
In the dawn of the light of love
Sing hallelujah

All is well, all is well
May there be peace on earth
Christ came and said
That he is in the crib
Sing hallelujah

All is well, all is well
Raise your voices and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing hallelujah

All is well
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing hallelujah
(Michael W. Smith)

There is no doubt that they titled the song correctly! You can’t miss it, can you? The message is sung over and over again, all is well!

I really hope you can sing these words and they are true in your personal life. I pray that everything is well with you this Christmas season.

However, we know that we live in a broken and painful world, and that for some, everything is not Good. I could go through a list, but you know the needs and the injuries as well as I do. Some are fairly obvious, and others are silent and hidden.

So the question is, what do we sing, how do we worship and celebrate the birth of Christ when all is not well?

How do we “tune our hearts to sing of your grace” or sing of “joy to the world” when there is neither joy nor peace in our life? There’s no doubt it’s hard to sing in a storm. The storm is relentless. The winds swirl and the forces never seem to be released.

However, there is hope! The answer is even in the song. Everything is fine, not because of our circumstances; not because the world is a perfect place or because things are going well in our personal and everyday lives.

We can sing “all is well” because we don’t focus on those things. It is exactly the opposite. All is well, not because of us, but because of Him.

All is well, because, as the song says, “born is now Emmanuel, born is our Lord and Savior”. Emmanuel — God with us. Our Lord and our Savior, the Redeemer and the hope of the world. The hope of we-you and me.

So go ahead and sing along. Sing it out loud and sing along with joy! Sing and worship because all is well when we put our hope and trust in the One who does things right.

Ready, eyes up, good breath, now sing!

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash


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