America’s biggest holiday is over, and the New Year has been rung in. It’s time to move on to what’s ahead! Yes. And at the same time, not so fast, friend. Something happened to me this Christmas that still has me playing carols and classic Christmas hymns and rejoicing. There is something going on in me that cannot let go of the spirit of Christmas—the Christ of Christmas.
If Christmas is about shopping until you drop, navigating the crowds, feeling relieved to find parking, spending more money than is prudent, eating more food than is prudent, even attending performances and church services, then yes, I’m glad to see Christmas has come and gone again. Yet no sooner is it over than I say to myself, “Only eleven months until the next Christmas frenzy.”
Christmas is a mystery. And few people, it seems, understand that mystery. Christmas is about an impartation gift to all of humanity that descended from heaven—the birth of the divine Savior King, Jesus Christ, to liberate people from that pernicious monster of unbelief residing in themselves and others. On the basis of that mystery relationship, Christmas for me is far from over. I’m still enjoying my gift because Christmas is Christ.
For the unaware, Christmas is a national holiday full of good cheer with family and friends. Don’t get me wrong. An excuse to celebrate and party is a good thing. But do you understand the mystery of Christmas as the true cause for celebration?
I’ll make my point this way: did you take notice of the classic songs that speak of Who this Jesus Christ is to Whom so much song and praise is rendered? I seem to notice in extra-deepening ways how much is sung that Christ is the King and Lord of the earth and all who dwell on the planet.
Now that the marketplace noise of Christmas is past, read afresh the printed words set to familiar tunes:
Though an infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
gather all the nations to Him;
every knee shall then bow down.
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the new-born King.
—Angels from the Realms of Glory
James Montgomery, 1816
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the new born King.
—Angels We Have Heard on High
French carol, tr. James Chadwick, 1862
Born Thy people to deliver,
born a Child, and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit,
rule in all our hearts alone;
by Thine all-sufficient merit,
raise us to Thy glorious throne.
—Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Charles Wesley, 1744
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King.”
—Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Charles Wesley, 1739
For lo! The days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold,
when the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace their King,
and all the world send back the song which now the angels sing.
—It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Edmund Hamilton Sears, 1850
Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns: let all their songs employ;
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love, and wonders, wonders of His love.
—Joy to the World!
Isaac Watts, 1719
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come, ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels!
—O Come, All Ye Faithful
John Francis Wade, c. 1743; tr. Frederick Oakley, 1841
O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be Thyself our King of Peace.
`—O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Latin, 12th c.; tr. John Mason Neale, 1851
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 came 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, He guards us from all danger.
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!
—O Holy Night
Placide Cappeau, 1855; tr. John Sullivan Dwight
For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth!
and praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth.
—O Little Town of Bethlehem
Phillips Brooks, 1868
Silent night! Holy night!
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
with the angels let us sing,
“Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.”
Joseph Mohr, 1816; tr. John Freeman Young, 1863
Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
that hath made heaven and earth of naught,
and with His blood mankind hath bought.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
born is the King of Israel.
—The First Noel
English Carol, 19th c.
Unto us is born a Son,
King of choirs supernal:
see on earth His life begun,
of lords the Lord eternal,
of lords the Lord eternal.
—Unto Us Is Born a Son
Latin, ca. 1360; tr. George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1910
Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
gold we bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never over us all to reign.
“Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice;
Alleluia! Alleluia! Sounds through the earth and skies.
—We Three Kings of Orient Are
John Henry Hopkins, 1857
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
come, peasant, king, to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings,
let loving hearts enthrone Him.
—What Child is This?
William C. Dix, ca. 1865
What do you think? “Do you see what I see?” Do you see the songs we sing during Christmas are an elevation of Him Who is our Ruler? Do you believe that? You sang those songs, but is it true for you? Is Jesus Christ your King and God?
I ask because it is my observation that Jesus Christ is largely a cartoon figure-head in the minds of the religious. The mystery is solved when you understand Jesus Christ, the Great Liberator, is both Lord and Savior. On that basis, He is, as George Washington, America’s liberator from unlawful British rule, wrote, “the Supreme Governor of the Universe.”
If Christ is King over your life, is there EVIDENCE of such a relationship?
Do you have joy that He is causing you to triumph over opposition in your life?
Or is fear gripping your heart about individual, family, national, or international problems? It is the joy that He is the Lord that gives strength to His subjects.
Do you come before the seat of His power, His Throne?
It is at His Throne that petitions, supplications, thanksgivings, and mercy is obtained. Only the King has power to answer secret prayer.
Kings rule, don’t they?
Have you submitted to His rule over your life as your Creator and Sustainer? Do you consult with Him about every aspect of your life? You know He knows everything, don’t you? That is why Christ is the King of all earthly kings, rulers, and lords. He would have to know all things to be over all earthly rulers.
Is Christ the King ruling all things today?
What ruler in history do you know that did not rule his kingdom when he was alive? Only when a king lost in battle and was subdued was a king made to submit to the victor over the conflict. That is where all of this comes down to a single piece of EVIDENCE—the empty tomb of Christ signifying His victory over that last enemy—death.
If Christ did not rise from the grave, then there is no hope for you, my friend, and no hope for me. What I am writing you today, however, is a world-overcoming message and lifestyle of hope. That, too, is evidence that Christ is alive and therefore ruler over all things for having defeated death unto liberating life.
The mystery of Christmas is solved for me. Christ is absolute Lord. I know that Christ rose from the dead and is therefore demonstrating the power of His resurrection by clear EVIDENCE that not a single person in all history has had more songs written about him than Christ, the divine Savior King. There’s no other person sung about every year around the world who transcends every nationality and culture except Jesus Christ. That makes Him the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. He is worshipped as such.
His rulership is quiet and peaceful. That speaks to His majestic character and meekness. The presence of His rule is evident around the planet where there is liberty. Where there is confusion, disorder, discord, He is not the Author of that—such is EVIDENCE of His enemies.
And He laughs at His enemies on earth for all of their confusion, for all of their learning and never arriving at the place of what is true—that He is in charge of all things. Only when individuals submit to His rule does peace enter the individual–evidence that we are living in the era of Christ’s occupation. From that standing of peace, an increase in order begins to displace the confusion. Confusion is displaced by the order of His life within. The rule of Christ is order.
Christmas songs and carols are sung with such exuberance because every word of them are true of Him–that He is the King ruling all things for the saving of those who submit to His government, which begins in the non-material heart.
A key question to ask yourself: am I a loyal subject of the King, Jesus Christ? Or am I subject to insubordination, even unto treason?
I celebrate Christmas every waking moment because Christmas is the mystery gift solved—the living Person of Jesus Christ to the world and that He rules. That is worth singing about daily, even unto many times a day. It really is a whole new world under His government and peace, to which there is no end.
If the realities and evidence I outlined are not true in your life, acknowledge Him now and make it right with Him. Ask His forgiveness. You sang about the comfort and joy that He rules the world with truth and grace. Ask for that mystery to be solved in your life today. He’ll hear you.
Join me in this exhilarating mystery relationship where Christ is Lord and because He is Lord, is He able to save you and me from ourselves and everything that opposes our lives in His service. As one of the King’s foot soldiers.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas today, and the next, and the next, and the next…!
He is worthy of such allegiance.
Though the general festivities, music, and parties are over–yours doesn’t have to be.