O Come, All Ye Faithful
Introduction: What’s almost 300 years old and still around every Christmas? No – not grandma’s fruitcake! How about one of the most popular and most sung Christmas carols of all time – O’ Come All Ye Faithful. A carol that was first sung in close to its current form 300 years ago – with lyrics dating back almost 700 years – O’ Come All Ye Faithful is a beloved carol that transcends cultures and generations. And it has a powerful message of joy and triumph.
Something To Talk About:
When the song, O Come All Ye Faithful was written, it was not based on this story actually, although it does invite us to certainly adore Christ. We sing it as an affirmation of our own hearts. We take our place with the magi. We come to adore. We come to worship. We come to receive, and we come to thank the One who came to save us from our sins and to give us joy in this life and in eternity. Jesus brings new life when we do the following 3 things:
- When I trust Him with salvation: When you give your life to Christ, things change—you change. Some are warm to the idea of such a shift, while some are apprehensive because they don’t know quite what to expect. New Christians find, however, that their new life in Christ results in changes they wanted to make all along, but were unable to do so without God’s help. They also find a sense of joy and peace unlike any other, and a renewed sense of purpose for living. And that’s just the shortlist. The decision to accept Christ is the most important decision we will ever make and once we make that decision we need to trust God with our salvation. To walk in greater levels of faith and power, it is important that you do not try to figure out, calculate, or reason how God is going to heal, deliver, set free, meet your needs, etc.; rather you must just believe. When you try to figure out in your mind how God is going to do something, then you are not trusting. It may be foolish to trust some people some of the time, but it is not foolish to trust the one true God. So today, take a look at your own life; do you trust God entirely for your salvation? If so, then you have the joy of knowing you are a child of God and that you will spend eternity with the risen Savior.
- When I talk to Him about my problems: Life is a set of challenges, problems, and hassles. We sometimes imagine that if we could just deal with the immediate challenge that we are facing, all our problems would be over. But life is not like that. If we resolve one problem, others are just around the corner. God sometimes allows us to be tested, but He does not want us to face the tests and challenges of life alone. You can talk to him about your problems. Psalm 81:6-7 says, “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah.” God loves you in spite of your problems. Whether you’re happy or sad, whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic, whether you’re angry or calm, and whether you’re strong or weak. God doesn’t discriminate. God keeps bringing you closer to Him because He wants you to learn that no matter how much people love you, you can’t depend on them to fix your problems or fix you if you are contributing to your problems. God is the only problem solver. God is the solution. So go to God and tell Him what is troubling you.
- When I turn my future over to Him: You’re going to spend the rest of your life in the future — your past is behind you. But since you don’t know the future and have no control over it, looking ahead can be scary. The Covid-19 Pandemic has led to constant change. First, it was the shock of everything shutting down. Then, it was the uncertainty of wondering when the “stay-at-home” orders would end. Now, we are social distancing in stores, restaurants, and church and no one knows what the next couple of months hold. Will there be another wave? Will the economy be able to withstand the shutdowns? Though COVID-19 is new to us, uncertainty is not. While the world may be uncertain, unstable, and always changing, our God is not. But God does not change. He is rock solid. His promises are reliable. His word stands true for eternity and His love endures forever. His Word was sure a thousand years ago and it will be sure for the next thousand. Today God wants you to release your faith in a new way. You can leave the past behind and move forward to a new place of complete and total freedom in the Lord. It doesn’t matter what your current problems are because they cannot stop God’s plan for your life. He has begun a good work in you, and He will complete it (Philippians 1:6) But you need to understand that your future is not based on the world’s economic systems or your present circumstances. You can begin to walk in your full potential by aligning yourself with what God says about your future.
- Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was not His “beginning.” Have you ever considered this before today? What thoughts do you have about the Eternal nature of Jesus Christ?
- What would it look like for you to come in faith and adore Jesus this Christmas season? What do you find yourself often putting in this fill-in-the-blank? I’d be happy if ______ occurs.
- Happiness is what happens to you; joy is what is produced in you: Do you tend to focus on your circumstances? Explain.
- Happiness is insecure; joy is confident. Agree or disagree and why? What does it mean to count it all joy?
- What are three of your greatest challenges for living a daily joyous life? Share an instance in which obedience to God resulted in great joy.
- Whenever we choose to sin, we are saying yes to a momentary satisfaction and no to lasting joy; we are choosing an earthly pleasure over an eternal fulfillment. Agree or disagree and why?
- How do your worries hinder you spiritually in your Christian walk?
- Do you agree that most of our time and energy is spent with an orientation toward the future? How does living with a future orientation line up with your understanding of the Christian life?
- When you think about the future, how do you feel? Hopeful? Worried? Confident? Scared? What is one thing that you can think of that God did for you in the past that encourages you as you face your own future challenges?
- How does knowing that your identity is in Christ free you up to trust that God is with you now and in the future?
- How will you or your group put into practice what you’ve learned today?
Take one thing home:
We are in a series called Christmas carols. This week’s Christmas Carol is O Come, All Ye Faithful. This is the 2nd part of this series, and we focused on joy. Christmas is almost here, and I know you are getting ready. As you prepare for Christmas, ask yourself this question; What will bring me joy this season? Maybe it is shopping for others as you buy gifts or having all the family together in one place. Will stuff like a new car, a new TV, or a new job bring you joy? For some, happiness comes from giving, and for others, it comes from receiving.
We know that “things” or stuff does bring us joy for a short time, but then it fades, and the thing we were most excited about loses its luster. If things don’t ultimately make us happy, then where does true joy come from? True joy comes from knowing Christ as your savior. God sent joy into the world as Jesus, our Immanuel-God with us. My prayer for you as we go through this season of “Joy, is that you discover what God has done for you. That you will understand where our true “Joy” comes from, and that is through Jesus.