With all the hustle and hurry around Christmastime, it’s often the melodies of Christmas hymns that carry the marvel and wonder of the season. Gifts are forgotten. Decorations get taken down. The family tree loses its needles. But the carols serve as a thread that connects our Christmas memories with enduring melodies and a timeless message. As familiar songs fill the crisp December air, the hymns become a promise of a coming day of celebration and joy in remembrance of Christ’s birth.
Promise plays an important part in Christmas history. When the good world God created was spoiled by humanity’s rebellion against her Creator, God made a promise to save and restore. This simple promise was that a Child from Eve would restore the brokenness caused by sin.
And so, the restoration song began…
Years passed, and another promise was made, this time to a homeless old man named Abram. In Genesis 12, God tells Abram, later Abraham, that a Child from his family would bless all nations. What a promise! And it seemed like at every turn, an obstacle to this promise mounted. Would the Child ever arrive?
Again, decades passed, and the promise was renewed once again. This time to a shepherd turned warrior, turned King. David was offered a promise of a Child who would have an everlasting Kingdom. So the Child of Eve that would save the world would also involve a coming King. Promise upon promise, the line narrowed from which the Child would come.
As the prophets arrived on the scene, we heard another promise: The Child would come from a virgin and be born in Bethlehem.
The Old Testament has a “glorious song of old” – the song of promises signified the coming of a Savior, and people longed for the promise to be fulfilled. The promise-song permeated their festivals, animal sacrifices, and celebrations. With ever-increasing clarity, God revealed His plan. Like a conductor of the world’s greatest symphony, He directs the affairs of the universe around the first arrival of the promised King.
Can you imagine a greater melody?! A song of promise punctured throughout all of history, each channeling humanity’s hope to a coming Child. If you listen closely… you can still hear the melody of anticipation today ushering in the worship of the newborn King.
Can you hear the melody?
This reflection was written by Bill Kuhn, who is the V.P. of Student Development/Campus Chaplain at Crown College.