Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.....

There is a local radio station that is playing Christmas songs 24 hours a day until Christmas. I've been listening off and on for the past several weeks, and I'm struck by how many secular Christmas songs there are. It's not unusual for several hours to go by with no mention of Jesus - the One who this season is really all about. And I don't really expect any different from a secular station.

But. Here's the thing. As I'm listening to these nonreligious, inoffensive (well, inoffensive to some, anyway) songs, I'm struck by how empty Christmas must be without a Savior. It's just so much schmaltz. And it's just so much anticipation and build up for one day. What a let down! I don't have anything wrong with some of the songs in and of themselves, really, and even like some of them. It's just that the real Christmas is so much better!

That's why we, in our family, don't "Santa." It doesn't bother me what other families do or don't do about that, but we don't, because for us, Christmas is about Jesus and the majesty of what He has done and Who He is, and I don't like to cheapen those thoughts with Santa and all that. I'm not all weird about it, we just never really did the Santa thing with the kids and it's just not part of the traditions that we're laying down.

Anyway. After listening to these schmaltzy songs and cutesy songs, I'm focusing now on a song that I think is absolutely FULL of doctrine and praise for Christ's majesty. THIS is a good Christmas song!

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic hosts proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King."

Christ, by highest heav'n adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time, behold him come, Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King."

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King."

While I was thinking about this song, I got out my Bible and looked up just a few of the scriptures to which it alludes.

Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel."

Matthew 2:6 "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel."

Colossians 1:15-23 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight - if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven"

Colossians 1:26-27 "the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Wow! These verses are something to think on! The majesty of Christmas becomes more real the more we focus on Christ. And as we focus on Christ Jesus, it is not just His birth, but His life, death, and resurrection, the very thing that reconciles us to God, that ought to bring us to our knees in adoration of the King. And, I am growing very convicted that I'm not nearly concerned enough about my neighbors who only know the schmaltzy Christmas and do not know the Savior. I once heard John MacArthur say in a sermon that we witness to others in order to see more voices added to the great "Hallelujah Chorus" of praise to God. I pray that this would become my passion as well.

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