‘Tis the season for those of you who have friends and family who are in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism/Netzarim movements or related sects to be hearing from them either why they won’t be celebrating the Birth of Christ and/or why you shouldn’t be.
I’ve written a couple of posts here at JGIG about why we celebrate the Birth of Christ. One is entitled, “Christ’s Birth – Why It’s Okay to Celebrate” , and the other, “Celebrating the Birth of Christ – The Reality is Christ . . . . (ya bone-heads) . . . . ” . That second one is a bit of a vent after receiving lots of comments that weren’t fit to post because they were so vitriolic. (It was then that JGIG had to go to moderated comments.) For a lighter take on a Christmas music classic, check out this post.
Another wonderful post regarding the celebrating the Birth of Christ from one formerly in the Hebrew Roots Movement is, “A New Relationship With Christmas” , from 8thDay4Life’s blog. I’ll also provide a list of articles regarding Christmas at the end of this post.
But all that is not why this post is here.
The reason for this post is about how the Gospel is communicated through so much of the music we hear this time of year. One of my daughters and I were driving home from a doctor’s appointment the other day, and “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing!” came on the radio. We had just pulled in to a parking lot to grab a bite to eat on the way home, and I said to her, “Let’s just sit for a minute and listen to the rest of this.”
I knew the Gospel was in there, but, Oh My! The particular arrangement that was playing was beautifully orchestrated and very well sung. As I listened, there was no mistaking the Gospel there! Not only was the Birth of our Saviour celebrated in song, but the Gospel was powerfully communicated there as well.
There are many, many Christmas songs that also relay the wonder of what God has done through the Incarnation and the work of the Cross and the Resurrection. Okay, there are some silly songs, too, like “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” and the cultural Santa Claus and Jingle Bells stuff, but I’m thinking that most of us can differentiate between the significance and reality of the two types of songs much as we can between songs like “The Purple People Eater” and Hymns and Spiritual Songs. I’m just sayin’.
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was originally written by Charles Wesley (brother of John Wesley) and the work appeared as a poem in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739. George Whitfield and others ‘punched it up’ a bit into the version we are more familiar with today. In 1855, English musician William H. Cummings adapted Felix Mendelssohn’s secular music from Festgesang to fit the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. Wesley envisioned the song being sung to the same tune as his song “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”, and in some hymnals, that melody is included along with the more popular version (source).
I found the version on YouTube that we heard the other day on the radio. I hope you’re as blessed by it and other songs that lift high the Name of Jesus and preach the Gospel that permeate the airwaves now as at no other time of the year. There are those who come to know Him and follow Him in part through songs such as this:
May you all have a blessed time as we celebrate the Birth of our Saviour, Lord and King, Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas!
For some good articles covering the issues of paganism, date setting, and traditions concerning Christmas, click on the following links:
Filed under: Biblical Holidays, Christianity, Christmas, Discernment, Hebraic Roots, Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, Music, Pagan Holidays, Religion, Teachable/Unteachable, Uncategorized, Video | Tagged: Biblical Holidays, Christianity, Christmas, Discernment, Hebraic Roots, Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, Pagan Holidays, Religion, Teachable/Unteachable, Truth or Tradition |