One of the blessings of our holidays was a visit from my niece and her 2 sons. My 3 year old great-nephew filled the house with lots of noise, running and jumping, calling out to various family members, drumming with chop sticks on an old pie plate. But the best was hearing him sing. He sang Go Tell It on the Mountain in church on Christmas Eve. He sang “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” in church Christmas morning. He sang along with many carols and I was amazed at how many songs he knew—good work, Mom!
In the morning, my great-nephew would jump out of bed and skip-run into the kitchen singing Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. This happens to be my favorite Christmas carol, and I was awe-struck hearing his little mouth from his diminutive frame singing at the top of his not-so-diminutive voice about “God and sinners reconciled.” I know Kaleb doesn’t have a clue what those words mean. Neither did I when I first learned them. But when I became older, what a blessing it was to think about what the words to so many carols and hymns really mean. What rich and marvelous messages they bring. “God and sinners reconciled.” Reconciliation, according to one definition, is the act of restoring relations between parties. What incredible, wonderful news! I love that carol because it is chock full of scriptural references and tells the real story of Christmas. Yes, lullabies about babies in a manger are nice, but Jesus’ coming to earth to bring us back to God is the real message: how he left behind the glory of heaven to become one of us, to live a perfect life and then to sacrifice his life for our sins, so that we could be reconciled to God (Philippians 2:5-11). It’s all about God loving us so much, that He devised a way to bring us back to him when we willfully turned away from him in sin (2 Corinthians 5:19-21). “Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth” (John 3:3). What a priceless gift to us from God! How can we not sing “Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), Hail the Son of Righteousness…Risen with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2)? Glory to the newborn King! Thanks be to God!