What is your favourite Carol? There are so many that have been written throughout the years that pick up many parts of the Christmas story. Many have been written from the perspective of the various individuals who feature in the events surrounding of the birth of The Lord Jesus – whether the Shepherds, The Wise Men or in some cases even the animals – Little Donkey for example.
Most of them were written a long time ago and we have sung them for years. Over recent years there are a few songwriters who have picked up their pens and written new songs, which pick up the story of Jesus birth and explore the message of the Saviour.
One of these “modern carols” is a song called How Many Kings by a Canadian group called Downhere. The focus of this song is The Lord Jesus himself & what He has done for us. The chorus in the song says –
How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
One of the key messages from the story of Christmas – and the story of the birth, life & death of Jesus is sacrifice and selflessness. What Jesus has done for us stands in stark contrast to the world we live in. We are surrounded by greed & selfishness on a massive scale.
We have all read and seen the stories about politicians, bankers & businessmen exploiting systems and expenses for their own gain. Much of the news we read and listen to every day seems to highlight just how selfish the world is.
Taking another person’s life, exploiting someone to sell a story, claiming something that is not legal or exploiting the innocent are all examples of selfishness.
The story told at Christmas just highlights what a sinful and corrupt world we live in. The bible says - “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Listen to what the apostle Paul said about The Lord Jesus when He came into this earth and lived a sinless life here – “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.”
The birth of Jesus heralded a fantastic message for everyone in this world – A message of hope and life. All this was done for you and me.
At the very centre of someone turning to Jesus in faith is the giving up of self – doing what Jesus did for us on the cross. The Son of God gave Himself for me.
The message of Christmas is a message of spectacular sacrifice by Jesus in coming to an earth that didn’t and still does not value Him. He went all the way to Calvary for you and me. He did this to forgive us and give us something we cannot obtain ourselves – Peace with God.
I’ll leave you with the final words of my favourite Carol –
Do you believe?
Is this who we've waited for?