I grew up celebrating Christmas and singing all the the familiar Christmas carols. It has been many, many years since those days, however, while shopping recently I heard two and the familiar words made me stop and pause. Selah
Joy to the World
The first was the third verse of “Joy to the World.” “He rules the world with truth and grace ….” I pondered why all I ever hear from those celebrating the Christmas holiday is the grace part and nothing about the truth. What has happened that the truth of God’s Word has been forsaken for His grace? After all, Jesus prays to his Father in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your Word, Your word is Truth.” With only grace, His rule, according to this carole, is incomplete.
The King of Israel
The second song ended with “born is the King of Israel.” Though I do not believe that Jesus was born at this time, many sing this song with great sincerity. But as one pastor I knew commented a long time ago, you can be sincere, but sincerely wrong. Apart from that, who actually is the King of Israel and how should His culture, His people and His Scriptures affect one’s walk of faith and one’s understanding of, well, the whole Bible.
As these songs will be sung in churches around the world at midnight Christmas eve services by those whose hearts are hopefully filled with joy and peace (there’s a lot of stressed out Christians who claim this holiday ), I hope and pray that maybe some eyes and ears would be opened to the true identity of the King of Israel, the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, and the foundation for being a part of His Kingdom, His Father’s commandments. I hope the carols sung are not just rote, as they can so easily become, but pierce the hearts and minds of some who sing them. The idea of truth with grace and the King of Israel should be empowering and life changing from the heart. They have been for me.
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