Friday, December 25, 2009

O Holy Night - Christ Is the Lord!

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.
The carol ends on a note of proclamation, its fourth response to the gospel. As love was shown to us, we show love to others. As salvation makes all believers equal, our pride is dismantled. As Christ is exalted, we join in exalting Him through songs of joy. And as this good news was passed along to us, we are to proclaim it to others.
Jesus commissioned His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20) This commission did not end with the disciples, but was multiplied through generations of disciples who sought to bring the good news to the ends of the earth. For whatever reason, God allows us to be a part of proclaiming the gospel to the world. Logically it seems that He could exclusively use angels or visions, but the general pattern from the stories we hear of people coming to faith involving angels and visions also involve regular human beings who testify to the truth of the gospel.
In Romans Paul claims that we have faith because we have heard. “But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”" (10:14-15)
Though this carol is focused on the coming of Christ into the world, it captures so much of the beauty of the gospel. The very Son of God came into the world as a light into darkness, and the thrill of hope His incarnation brings is to be proclaimed to all people. He is the divine king, and we join the wise men and shepherds in beholding His power and glory, and invite others to behold Him as well. He was born to be our friend, knowing the weakness and trials that were entailed in doing so. And now we find our worth and salvation from sin in His victorious name. It is this holy name we proclaim to the nations, Jesus our Christ, the risen Lord. May this day of celebration in the Christ be one of great joy for you.
“All praise to the name of the Savior who reigns
He’s taken our blame, embraced all our shame
He’s raised from the grave so His fame we proclaim
Salvation by grace through faith in His name” (Shai Linne)
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