A dance of worship and hope

December 3, 2010

As I reflect on this song, I think about the faithful Jewish people who looked forward with hope for the Messiah.  One of my favorite Bible stories occurs eight days after Jesus is born.  Simeon, an old, old man had been promised by God that he would see God’s Savior before he died.  Simeon lived with hope.  Anna, too, lived with hope, even though she had been a widow for decades;  she hoped for a savior, and she saw him. You can read the story in Luke, Chapter 2.  For us it should be easier, because our Savior has already come, but I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.  We need to grab hold of the hope verses that fill the new Testament, such as:  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

This song written sometime in the 14th century, is another old carol with words that still stir emotions 6oo years after it was written.  I am grateful for John M. Neal, who translated the song from Latin into English in 1853.  The “tale” that accompanies this song is that the original author, Heinric Suso heard angels sing this song to him, and when he heard them, in joined them in a dance of worship.

Dance if you like, as you reflect upon these wonderful words of hope.

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before Him bow; and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened the heavenly door, and man is blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

Christ was born to save.  Use the Christmas season to embolden yourself.  Use it to share to Good News.  There is hope at Christmastime like no other time of the year.  I would suggest doing a word search on the word HOPE.  If you don’t have a concordance or a good search tool, I would suggest:   http://www.biblegateway.com/ It’s easy to use, and you can pick your favorite translation, even Greek if you want. To learn more about Christmas carols you might want to check out:    http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/g/o/goodcmen.htm


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