Wednesday, November 30, 2011

O Come All Ye Faithful

Most of us know this Christmas carol…or at least the first few words of it:

Oh, come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye, to Bethlehem.

Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;
Oh, come, let us adore Him, oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Over the years, as we sing this and other songs over and over, I wonder if the words get lost behind the familiarity.  I wonder if the meanings of the words in these carefully written songs are even pondered.  It seems there is a bit of a “movement” to put CHRIST back into CHRISTmas, and since singing these songs is a big part of our celebration throughout the season, maybe thinking about what we’re singing can help. 

I have picked out some of the words and/or phrases in this song in an attempt to bring them to life a bit, so to speak.  I hope they help you to remember and focus on the true meaning and reason of CHRISTMAS.

All Ye Faithful
Have you ever wondered who these all these “faithful” are?  That would be those who believe in God the Father and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ!  The “faithful” don’t just profess love, allegiance and loyalty with their mouth.  That’s a great first step, but truly faithful people of God will be evident to the world around them by the way they live their lives; not in showy works that make themselves look good, but through loving actions that bring all honor to God above.  To be faithful is to be loyal and constant; to be true to one's promises and vows; to be devoted.  How do you show or express your faithfulness to Him?

Matthew 25:23 – Well done good and faithful servant!

Come…Let Us Adore Him/Come…And Behold Him
The song invites us to come to Him.  To adore Him.  Adoration is defined as follows:  paying honor; worship; reverent homage; fervent and devoted love.  How often do you go to God (it’s an open invitation!)?  And when you do approach Him, is it in adoration?  I hear about many who approach Him in desperation, but adoration isn’t always first priority.  Oh, most of us eventually get around to that part after we’ve listed all our needs and wants.  But I’m pretty positive we’ve got that twisted around a bit.  Adore Him.  Seek his face.  Behold Him.  Gaze upon it with great affection.

Psalm 95:6 – Come, let us bow down in worship (adoration),
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

As we accept His invitation to be with Him, we can do so with great joy!  Even when our situations make us deeply sad, we can still be joyful in Jesus' presence.  Joy has little to do with US, and everything to do with Him.  To be joyful is to be delighted with something, jubilant and elated!  Just knowing that God is sovereign, and that Jesus has paid our ransom – that is pure joy. We can delight in that!

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Oh, I think this is my favorite part…come to him triumphantly! Do you know why?  Triumph means victory.  And through Jesus’ blood, we already HAVE the victory over all that is evil, all that is sinful, all that is not of God!  Death has no hold on us.  By Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are redeemed by grace to our rightful place as co-heirs.  I think that is an amazingly exciting revelation and truth!

1 Corinthians 15:55 - Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

King of Angels/Christ the Lord
Christ is our Lord and the King of Angels.  He lovingly reigns over all – He is in absolute control of everything.  I don’t know about you, but that is a BIG relief to me.  Because I know he has already claimed victory, there is no need for me to try to be in control of anything.  I can (and should) certainly do my part in the work He has set before me, but there’s no pressure to try to figure out the why’s or the how’s of it all.  The Lord and King above all has everything worked out already!

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD;
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I hope this has inspired you some, so the next time you’re singing your favorite CHRISTmas hymn, you might stop and think about the words you’re singing.   Behind the pretty music, there’s a “reason for the season” and a message just for your heart!

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