The joy of Christmas
Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s more than just a single day — it’s an entire season! Here in America you “hear” the Christmas season before you see it. That’s because radio stations start playing Christmas music almost as early as the week before Thanksgiving! But you know what? I really like that.
Because many of the songs we hear are steeped in some really solid theology. I’m not talking about “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “Here Comes Santa Claus” (although I like those, too). I’m talking about “O Holy Night,” Handel’s “Messiah,” or one of my personal favorite Christmas carols, “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
Every year, we sing it at a midnight service at my church. I’ve always been struck by how the lyrics mirror and condense some of the most difficult theology into bite-size chunks. Just reflect on this section — “God of God, light of light, Lo he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; Very God, begotten, not created: O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” It’s an echo of the Nicene Creed. But there’s more. The next verse reaffirms one of the great central tenants of incarnational theology — “Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given! Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing! O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”
I love that phrase — “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing” — that is the great promise of Christ’s identity — the word made flesh. Begotten, not made. Born as a child in a manger. That is the great miracle of Christmas: that God the Father gave us his Son, to redeem us and bring us back into right relationship with him, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Just like the carol commands us, I imagine that knowing that, all of us are moved to remember and adore Christ the Lord.
From all of us at Grace Communion International, Merry Christmas and God bless you and yours!
Presented by Greg Williams
About the presenter:
Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA. Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International.
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