Christmas seasons come and go. However, the deeper meaning of Christmas remains with us daily through the years. Christ our Savior King with us then, with us now, and forever on.
If the baby in the manger were simply another baby born of woman, there would be no Christmas. If no Christmas, the following would be meaningless, as the rest of the story would not exist. But it does exist and is all very true, as so many of us can attest. Not only so, but we invest our lives in that Truth.
“This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15
The Christmas narrative is recorded in the Bible, which is accurate and true, and worthy of deep study. However, all care should be taken for the reason we read and study.
This is a familiar Christian saying, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.” This quote, often attributed to the American evangelist D.L. Moody, captures the central importance of our relationship with God’s Word
We don’t engage with the Bible to increase our knowledge about God. We read it, we study it, we memorize it, we ponder over it, and we apply it in order to know God Himself. And as we do that, God’s Word—and God’s Spirit—transforms us. The way we view the world around us, life, other people and ourselves, changes. Some things that were always visible but ignored, now become visible to us as though it were completely new and exhilarating to behold. Truths that were once hidden now become “so simple a child could understand it.”
In one of His testy exchanges with the Pharisees, Jesus pointed out the reason for their error when it came to their religious zeal: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).
Were the Pharisees committed to the Scriptures? Absolutely! Were they familiar with them? They read them constantly and heard them preached regularly in their synagogues. But they did not really know them intimately, and they did not know the power of God behind them—power that was able to change lives. The Bible brings change, or it brings nothing at all.
Contrast that with the way the Apostle Paul described the believers in Thessalonica, “when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The Word of God was at work in the lives of these people—transforming the way they lived, and the very essence at the core of their humanity.
“The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Can you see why the Bible is referred to as the Living Word of God? It’s the word of life for us here and hereafter.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
Merry Christmas to all!
It was almost a decade after the song’s composition that the lyrics were translated into English. Minister John Sullivan Dwight translated the French original into the lyrics we sing today in 1855.
‘O Holy Night’
(Original and classic lyrics)
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming;
With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand:
So, led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land,
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend;
He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! before him bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!
Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!