Friday, December 11, 2009
O, Come All Ye Faithful
My favorite Christmas carol is "O, Come All Ye Faithful". I have always loved the words, the melody, the repetition of the adoration of Christ, our Lord. Each time I have sung this glorious melody, I have pictured in my mind what it must have been like to be a participant in the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. I have often wondered what I would have said or done had I seen the tiny Babe lying in a manger. Being the one who always sheds the tears, whether happy or sad, I know my eyes would have filled with tears of joy upon seeing the little Saviour. I know the mother's heart within me would want to do as Mary did--snuggle Him close and look for the smile in His eyes.
The words of the song continue by inviting us to come to Jesus both "joyful and triumphant". Why that choice of wording? Why those particular emotions? I believe in my heart that the writer knew that no one could have come to Jesus without joy in their hearts---without feeling jubilation at the birth of the Son of God. When angels sang and shepherds bowed---when kings came from afar---when the Heavens lit up with the smile of God---I ask you, how could there not be joy? With the prophetic words of Isaiah coming to life before their very eyes, "...Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel...for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 7:14 & 9:6)--how could there not be joy? How could there not be a feeling of triumph to know that the promised Messiah had finally--finally--arrived?
My brother, Dan, brought the Christmas message at our church not long before our father retired from pastoring. We had just finished singing this beautiful melody and there was a beautiful, reverent hush that had come upon the congregation. My brother stepped forward and said these words:
" We have sung these words for many years, perhaps without realizing the true meaning. The most significant phrase of the entire song--'Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing". Jesus, the Word of the Father, now made flesh and dwelling among us. How wonderful are those words to us."
May we all know the joy and triumph that accompanied our Saviour as he came as the Babe in the manger. May we all come to know Him and walk within His light until we see Him face to face. May the joy and jubilation that surrounded His birth be renewed in us today. Come, all ye faithful. Come to Him and know the true joy of the season---a child is born---His name is Jesus---Immanuel. Come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.