“for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16.
Christmas is such a complicated time of year, but one of the more amazing features of this time of the year is the music you will hear proclaiming the birth of Christ. There are so many wonderful Christmas songs but “O Come All ye Faithful” is on most people’s favorite list and no wonder, we have been singing this song for as long as we can remember. But have you ever stopped to consider the words of the first two lines of this iconic song:
“O come all ye faithful, joyful, & triumphant.”
We try to be faithful, but in spite of our best efforts, there are still times where I wrestle with doubt. I have not always been faithful to God. I haven’t shown that steadfast love and allegiance to Him. There are times when I am not faithful to God’s word. God tells me to forgive someone and I resist forgiving them. That isn’t faithfulness.
Have we always been joyful? Maybe this invitation isn’t designed for 2020. There are days where we experience sadness. Pandemics tend to cause despair and anxiety, not joy. Some of us experienced loss this year so when we hear these carols instead of joy, we are reminded of loss. O come all ye joyful? Am I still invited to come?
O come all ye triumphant. 2020 has not produced a lot of wins. In fact, losing seems more popular than winning this year. Maybe this invitation isn’t for us. We had goals but failed to achieve them; not only did I not get the promotion I was seeking but I lost my job. This was the year I was going to be a better parent. I set my sights on being the epitome of love and patience. But I find myself freaking out over the littlest things. There is no triumph here.
But then I look at the opening two lines of the song in a slightly different way. Jesus helps us become faithful. Hebrews 12:2 says, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…” Faith starts with Jesus and faith is perfected with Jesus. Jesus helps us become joyful. He brings joy even though we have never seen Him. 1 Peter 1:8 says, “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” Luke 2:10 says, “but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Joy depends on Jesus. O come all ye joyful! And Jesus helps us become Triumphant. 2 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) “…thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,..” Jesus causes us to triumph.
We become faithful because we came to Jesus. We become joyful because we came to Jesus. We triumph because we came to Jesus.
- What can we do this week to demonstrate more faith?
- What can we do this week to demonstrate more joy?