In Dulci Jubilo

 

“Good Christian men, rejoice,

With heart and soul, and voice;

Give ye heed to what we say:

Jesus Christ is born today:”

 

Rejoice! You see it everywhere this season. Half the Christmas decorations have “joy” somewhere in them. The very greeting we give each other for the season is about being “merry”. But have you paused in the midst of all the rushing about and remembered what we are rejoicing about? Christ has come! It is an incredible thing, that the Lord of all creation has come down. The King of kings has taken on our human frailty with all its incommodiousness and frustrations. But is that actually what makes us rejoice?

 

“Ox and ass before Him bow,

And He is in the manger now.

Christ is born today!

Christ is born today!”

 

It is almost unfathomable when you begin to contemplate all that Jesus was, and what He stooped to in the incarnation. Fully God, and fully man…it is an unparalleled marvel. Nothing like it has ever been, or ever will be, or was even conceived by the imagination of man. But the incarnation alone is a wonder; not in itself the cause of rejoicing. We have to dig deeper, to delve into the reason Christ became incarnate.

 

“Good Christian men, rejoice,

With heart and soul, and voice;

Now ye hear of endless bliss:

Jesus Christ was born for this!”

 

Endless bliss. Eternal joy. Rejoicing that stretches on forever and ever. An unending delight. Christ’s coming brings us news of this magnitude. It is something so wonderful we will always, always, be rejoicing over it.

 

“He hath opened heaven’s door,

And man is blessed evermore.

Christ was born for this!

Christ was born for this!”

 

The heavenly door is open. The veil is rent in two. The mercy seat can be approached. Christ has come for this! Now here is a new marvel, added to the wonder of an incarnate God! Sinners who have rebelled and scorned their Creator, little midges who shake their fist at a giant, insignificant walking dust who spit upon their King and run to His enemies…and yet He comes to them, pays an incredible price, and draws their hearts to Him again.

 

It’s about the cross. Christ has come, and we rejoice, oh how greatly do we rejoice! But the reason we sing of the baby and all the joy and peace He brings, comes to fruition thirty years after that birth in a stable. Jesus came. Then He lived. He taught. He died. He rose. He lives and intercedes. This is what we celebrate at Christmas, all of it, not just the first bit.

 

Christmas is the beginning. It is the start of the incredible work of fulfilling the gospel. We of the New Testament days are able to see the whole picture, that those of the old saints only saw in faith and shadowy pictures. We know the incredible truth of the incarnation, cross, and the empty grave.

 

“Good Christian men, rejoice,

With heart and soul, and voice

Now ye need not fear the grave;

Jesus Christ was born to save!”

 

This is the truth of Christmas, the wonderful, awful truth: a baby was born for the express purpose of dying. He came to die for us, that He might save His own. We can come to Christ and know beyond a doubt that every sin is forgiven, and endless bliss is ours. Heaven’s door is open through the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and we may enter on trembling legs to lay even the most piddling of requests at our Lord’s feet.

 

Remember to worship Him for the entirety of His work this season. Don’t stop at the manger. Go on and see the miraculous, jaw-dropping wonder that began at Christmas, culminated at Easter, and continues forever with our living Lord.

 

Christ has come to make a way for us. He came to draw us to Himself. He came to die for us, His beloved. Christ has come to save.

 

“Calls you one and calls you all

To gain His everlasting hall.

Christ was born to save!

Christ was born to save![1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Originally a old Latin hymn, attributed to Heinrich Suso (1290-1366) the translation we all know was done by John Mason Neale.

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