This poem written by English country clergyman Robert Herrick in the 17th century, was put to beautiful music by John Rutter 3 centuries later. It so beautifully expresses the heart from which we look upon this Christmas Day, that I had to include the words for you here.
What an amazing season of Advent! We saw how Emmanuel’s coming was foretold and how Jesus fulfilled those prophecies down to the very last detail! We learned that Jesus is the “monogenes” the One and Only Begotten, Unique Son of God which qualifies Him to be victorious over sin and death. Born among sacrificial lambs, He is the perfect, spotless Lamb of God who washes us whiter than snow. He is the Bread of Life born in the House of Bread. We saw God’s wisdom in the story of Ruth, and that through her, God grafted the Gentiles into the line of Christ who is our Kinsman Redeemer.
We saw how Jesus is our PEACE through the story of Gideon. We learned about the broken organ that led to an intimate, guitar led version of Silent Night at a midnight Christmas Eve service in Austria. We saw that Jesus was born as a baby, poor and needy. We too are poor and needy and that is what qualifies us for God’s grace! We learned how Jesus is gentle and humble at heart, and when we roll our burdens onto Him, we find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
We saw how easy it is to become dull of hearing to God’s Word. The angel’s message over 2000 years ago still rings out today, and if we stop to listen, we will hear it. We saw how Jesus doesn’t just want to be invited into our hearts as a guest, but He wants to dwell in our hearts by faith. We saw that although our salvation is secure, sometimes we allow SELF on the throne. This grieves Him and He graciously stands at the door and knocks, waiting for us to re-admit Him to His rightful place in our hearts.
We were amazed at how an atheist, Placide Cappeau, could express the gospel so clearly in “O Holy Night,” yet still reject its message. This reminds us that a mere head knowledge of Christ is not enough, but we must know Him in our hearts. We learned that the Levitical shepherds of Bethlehem were the audience to the angelic announcement of the birth of the Shepherd King. We learned that Jesus is the Door, the Gate of the sheep.
God’s Word has encouraged us to persevere, surrender, and die to self so that the sweet aroma of Christ may be manifested through our lives. We saw that Christ is the Sunrise from on high and has risen in our hearts like the star the Magi followed. We heard the Herald Angels sing and looked into who angels are and what they represent. We learned about faithfulness and what it means to be faithful to Christ.
We were introduced to the Christ Child through Isaiah 9:6 and heard the bells with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We were reminded that only God can keep us strong and mighty through Christ, empowering us to withstand difficult circumstances. Celebrating the joy of the first Advent causes us to look forward to the second Advent. Until that day, in this bleak midwinter, we see Jesus shining the warmth of His light to the world.
We’ve had such sweet music through this Advent series. But the sweetest music of all is the song of a yielded heart in praise and worship to the precious Christ of Christmas.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ, the Lord!”
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.John 14:3 NASB
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”
Revelation 22:17 NASB
Christmas Day Advent Reflections:
Lord, give us the response of Mary in full surrender to You. We want You to have Your will and way in our hearts. We worship You this Christmas and enthrone You on the throne of our hearts. Thank You for coming to us, for being Emmanuel. You are the Logos – the Living Word, our Hope, our Peace and our salvation. You are the Grace of God to us. We thank You and praise You on this Christmas Day. Be born in us, oh Lamb of God!
Click here to listen to The Cambridge Singers sing this Christmas hymn on YouTube.