From the Pastors Desk
Dec13FriDecember 13, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand
Did you know that even non-Christian people sing Christian Theology at Christmas-time. So many of the songs that people love to sing are chocked full of theological truth.
Take the very familiar “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.” It is loaded with robust doctrinal truth from the Bible. But I am certain, many have no idea what they are singing. I also wonder how many Christians understand what they are singing.
Ken Osbeck writes of this hymn:
Like so many of Wesley’s hymns, this text is really a condensed course in biblical doctrine in poetic form. Following the re-telling of the angelic visit to the shepherds in the initial stanza, the succeeding verses teach such spiritual truths as the virgin birth, Christ’s deity, the immortality of the soul, the second or new birth, and a concern for Christ-like living.
“These [Wesley] hymns were composed in order that men and women might sing their way, not only into experience, but also into knowledge; that the cultured might have their culture baptized and the ignorant might be led into truth by the gentle hand of melody and rhyme.”
For example, “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see.” That simply means “Take a look and see God, hidden in human flesh,” see God in the Person of Jesus.
Notice the next line, “Hail the incarnate Deity.” Deity means “divine one” or “God Himself.” Incarnate literally means “in flesh.” John 1:14 states “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Look at the next two lines: “Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.” The word (name/title) Emmanuel means “God with us.” Get this, Jesus was pleased to dwell in flesh among people of flesh to be “God With Us.” In other words, we know who God is because of Jesus. We know what God is like because of Jesus. This verse is supposed to set up the miracle of the incarnation by letting you see Christ in all His glory coming as baby Jesus in that humble stable.
Look at the pure, sinless Jesus being born to a mother under questionable circumstances.
Look at the Maker of the universe being denied space in the inn, having to occupy the space of a stable.
Look at Christ being adored by all of heaven, and then see Him in a stinky feeding trough flanked by animals.
Part of the glory of the incarnation is holding that tension in your mind. It gives you a window into how great God’s love is, that He would take on human flesh for us and our salvation.
Enjoy this Advent Season,
See You Sunday!
By the way: I want to say a huge thanks to Elissa, the Choir, The Team, the Helpers and everyone who played a part in last week’s production of “Jesus is the Reason.” We all enjoyed music done with excellence, and more than that, we worshipped the King of King and Lord of Lords.