I love most all Christmas music. I say “most all” because there are a few songs I despise… “Jingle Bells,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “I’m Gettin’ Nothin’ for Christmas,” “Santa Baby” You get the idea. All of these songs have something in common and I think it is what I dislike about them: They have nothing to do with the Guest of Honor.
I understand that these songs are simply meant to be fun. Maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much if they weren’t played constantly on every radio station and in every store. And if you like these songs and they put you in the spirit of Christmas, there’s no judgement from me…this is just my preference and my lament of the fact that I am not old, but in my lifetime, I have seen Religious Christmas music all but disappear from mainstream radio stations. We focus on presents and shopping and eating and consuming (I am just as guilty). We come to the Birthday Party, eat all the cake and open all the gifts, but we never greet the Guest of Honor. We may give Him passing acknowledgement, but not the exuberant celebration deserved by One who is “Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel.”
And so our Honored Guest, the Word, the First and Last, the Great Light, the Prince of Peace waits patiently and humbly in the manger. He is content to let us enjoy His birthday party, to bask in the lavish grace His party implies: That the One who deserves our all came to give His all.
Oh Blessed Day, When First Was Pour’d
By, Afreton and Chandler 1708
O blessed day, when first was pour’d
The Blood of our Redeeming Lord:
O blessed day, when first began
His sufferings borne for sinful man!
Scarce enter’d on this life of woe,
His Infant Blood begins to flow;
A foretaste of His death He feels,
An earnest of His love reveals.
From Heav’n descending to fulfil
The bidding of His Father’s Will,
A Victim even now He lies
Before the day of sacrifice.
For love of us His woes begin;
The sinless suffers for our sin;
The Law’s great Maker for our aid
Obedient to the Law is made.
The wound His through the Law endures
Our freedom from that Law secures;
Henceforth a holier law prevails,
The law of love which never fails.
Lord, circumcise our hearts, we pray,
And take what is not Thine away;
Write Thine own Name within our hearts,
Thy law upon our inmost parts.
O Lord, the Virgin-born, to Thee
Eternal praise and glory be,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost for evermore.
I have decided that I will post lyrics to Christmas Hymns this month, both on this blog and on my personal and blog FB page as a way of reflecting and discussing what Christmas really means. (Although I make no promises about how often I will post these…this may be all you get! )
I shared the above Hymn because it clearly defines for us the reason that Christ came to earth. We cannot fully appreciate the enormity of grace at Christmas until we acknowledge who the Little Baby is, and what He came to do.
And may the Grace who was the Gamechanger of human history, the One who’s sacrifice flies in the face of cause and effect, the Light that broke the darkness, the Freedom who brought equality to all mankind, the Cornerstone on which the Church stands firm, the divine Reset Button of our depravity, Who’s hope gave the calendar keepers reason to start over…May He fill you with His peace this year. Merry Christmas!