What’s your favourite Christmas carol?
“Jingle Bells” seems to be at the top of many lists of the top Yuletide songs. It’s catchy, kids love it, and it puts people in a cheery mood.
Or perhaps you’re more partial to “Silent Night”? I don’t blame you—it’s a beautiful classic.
The honour of the best-selling Christmas single would have to go to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” And with good reason—how can you not love this song?
(I’m hoping that your favourite Christmas number isn’t “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” If it is, I’m not sure we can be friends.)
As for me, my favourite carol is “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” with lyrics by Charles Wesley and a rousing melody by Felix Mendelssohn.
This hymn is not only enjoyable to sing, it’s also richly loaded with Biblical truths. It starts out this way:
“Hark! The herald angels sing:
‘Glory to the new-born king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled.’ “
The angels are celebrating the inauguration of a new Kingdom featuring world-wide peace and the reconciliation of humanity to its creator.
But wait a minute: aren’t the angels jumping the gun in this account?
God and sinners wouldn’t be reconciled until decades later in Jesus’ life, at the Cross.
And since Jesus was born the world hasn’t had a year without war somewhere or other. Where is the peace the carol describes?
Aren’t the angels being a bit premature in celebrating?
Not at all.
This carol speaks of the joy of looking forward to the fruition of what Christ began 2,000 years ago.
The inauguration of a new Kingdom indeed began at Jesus’ birth. Peace and reconciliation were inherent in that event. They were on the way: it was just a matter of time.
In the same way, when we’re born again, we experience a new beginning. We are made new creations in Jesus.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
And yet we still have to live in this world of heartache and woe. We experience suffering; our bodies ache; and we long for the world to be made right.
We rejoice over our salvation, even though the full import of that moment won’t really be known and experienced until we enter Heaven. But we know that it’s on the way.
We’re joyful today for the promise of what’s to come.
So this Christmas, let’s rejoice over what the birth of Jesus means: the forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation with God right now, and the promise of eventual peace on earth with Christ as the reigning King.
A priceless gift now, with more on the way—no wonder the angels are singing about it!
Merry Christmas from The Faith Cafe!
© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.