Carolers appear at our gate every evening during this time of year. A few offer beautiful music, either vocal or instrumental. Others beat on a can and shout something indecipherable, always followed by “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” That’s our cue to come out with a treat.
Of all the standard Christmas carols, the two we hear are “Joy to the World” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” And one wonders, as the garbled words emerge from enthusiastic throats, do they understand what they’re singing? Especially when it’s in English, which most of these children wouldn’t understand. (I must say that it’s usually sung a second time in their own language.)
Then I have to ask myself, do I really understand the same song when I sing it? Do I think about it or does my mouth go on autopilot while I’m thinking about what’s for lunch?
Take this line from “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”:
God and sinners reconciled. Unpacked, these four words contain the whole story:
–A former perfect relationship between God and humankind
–People becoming sinful and separated from God
–God’s provision of the means to restore that relationship.
It was done by God setting aside His divine privilege for the sake of the estranged human race and becoming one of us! Coming down and reaching out to pay the death penalty we deserve and restore us to the place He intended for us when He made us.
What love! This is why we celebrate. Would you turn down such a gift?