When church staff are being properly shepherded and led, when they know the expectations that the leaders have of them, when they have a clear sense of their purpose and significance within the greater body of the church, when they are appreciated and given adequate feedback, and when they are being equipped to carry out their tasks with greater competency and faith, leading and managing staff can be one of the most exciting aspects of pastoral ministry.

 

When artists record popular versions of carols or when publishers add Christmas sons to hymnals and songbooks, too often they excise the core gospel message in exchange for sentimentalism. As the radio plays Christmas music 24 hours a day, it is not unusual for us to hear altered lyrics or simply the first verse of a carol repeated two or three times instead of the original verses.

 

A spiritual aesthetic must be fundamentally theological. This is true not only in the broad sense of the term, where theology means the whole discipline of study concerning religious truth, but particularly in the narrow sense of the term: theology proper, the study of God. God is the supremely beautiful and the fountainhead of all beauty, so Spiritual aesthetics begins with Him.

 

In order to play the sweet songs of God's grace in our lives, we need to make sure that we have all of the biblical strings of grace tuned and in place. If we leave off one or two, we will inevitably be unable to play the beautiful melody of holiness in our lives in the way in which God has intended. 

 
 

As believers, we need to evaluate our heart for idols, for those things we turn to for hope outside of Christ. We need to pray for discernment to see them for what they really are: weak and powerless substitutes. We need to remember who God is and what he has done, meditating on his holiness, righteousness, and goodness. Then we need to turn away from our false gods in repentance and turn back to the One True God, seeking to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.