This Holiday Season as you do your shopping you will probably hear Christmas carols playing in the background. This year, rather than just letting them roll off your back, take a moment to reflect on what is actually being said. Like most hymns of old, many Christmas carols are a treasure chest of rich content. Consider “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, for example. I love the story line that is woven throughout this great carol…
Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King. We have six children and none of them had an entrance like that. The Bible says to give glory only to God. Why then is the Christ child singled out to receive worship? No one bowed down and paid homage to our newborns, but this baby was unique. It is through Jesus that God and sinners are reconciled. Wow, that’s a loaded statement! What’s the problem, you ask? Why is reconciliation needed if we’re all one big happy family? Life and light to all He brings. Why? Because apart from Him there is no life and without Him we are walk in spiritual darkness. Ris’n with healing in His wings – how appropriate. Those who can’t accept the need for His light can perhaps recognize the pain, loneliness and numbness we often feel inside.
Why was it such a big deal that Christ was born? He is by highest heav’n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord! There is none like Him! From Genesis to Revelation, the two bookends of the Bible, Jesus’ singular majesty is plainly spelled out. Remember the Hebrew prophet Isaiah? “His name shall be called…Mighty God”. Hail the incarnate deity – God showed up in human flesh to visit us! How does that work? Veiled in flesh the God-head see…the wonder of Christmas is that God Himself walked among us and was born in the most humble means. He lived among us so that He could die for us…born that man no more may die. What? People still die, just as they always have. Yes, but death has lost its sting. So much so, that the New Testament writers prefer to say that Christians have “fallen asleep.” Jesus was born to raise the sons of earth – to give us new life, forgiveness. In fact, “born again” is not as recent a term as you might think: Charles Wesley continued, born to give them second birth. We all need new life through Jesus Christ. The Bible does not list being born again as an option, but something that is desperately needed: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The mystery of Christmas is explained in Easter: Jesus was the offspring of the virgin’s womb. That is, He by passed the sinful line of Adam so He could ultimately be the perfect sacrifice for you and me, at the cross. Only Christ offers the hope and new life we so desperately need. And it’s free. Is He your Lord and Savior? Don’t let the Season slip by without understanding and embracing the Wonder of it all. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King.” Amen to that!
- Pastor Colin