Sunday, 25 December 2005

O come, let us adore him!

I love Christmas carols; and more than any other I love “O Come All Ye Faithful.” This carol includes a remarkable verse—my favourite verse in the entire hymnbook:

“God of God, Light of Light,
Lo! He abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God, Begotten, not created.”

These are breathtaking words, words that stop you in your tracks, words that leave you gasping and speechless. If we could grasp this one verse—just three lines!—then we would have grasped everything. If we could learn to speak this verse—really speak it!—then there would be nothing else to say, nothing else for all eternity.

In this verse is a message of sheer joy—the joy of Christmas! God, God himself, came among us. At a certain time, in a certain place, among a certain people, God was born. He was born not in a temple, or in a church, or in a palace, but in a poor stable. He lay helpless and human in a Virgin’s lap. He emptied himself, so that we might be filled. He humbled himself, so that we might be lifted up. He came to us, so that we might come home to him. And at the final moment, he cried out “I thirst!”—so that we would never thirst again.

The only possible response to all this is one of joyful gratitude. And so the old Christmas carol continues:

“O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!”

Merry Christmas to you all.

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