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The First Carol of Christmas

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

That’s a very subjective question.

Some like to hear about “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” – others love to think about bells “jingling.” Yet, others tear up (with good reason) thinking about a “Holy Night” so long ago.

They may even want to fall on their knees.

I think, though, that the greatest Christmas song ever written is one with no familiar music. The tune is no longer available to us. But, the lyrics – ah, those lyrics – well – they’re inspired!

When the Apostle Paul was writing to Pastor Timothy about everything from order in the church to the dangers of greed, he gave us an easily overlooked Christmas nugget that endures. In his first letter to his young protégé, he slips in a profound Christmas song, sandwiched between practical admonitions.

It may be not be a toe tapper like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – but it completely captures the essence of Christmas.

That essence is incarnation.

We are not told the “style” of music – nor are we told the instrument or instruments used to express it (if any). We are just given the WORDS. They are inspired words – and they have endured. They are ancient words – yet ever new.

So – this season let us reach back for one of the forgotten “oldies” – a first century worship favorite. They likely sang it in places like Ephesus, Thyatira, and Philippi. You can make up your own music – but don’t mess with the words.

They are an enduring Christmas gift.

And – one…two…three…

“He appeared in a body, Was vindicated by the Spirit, Was seen by angels, Was preached among the nations, Was believed on in the world, Was taken up in glory.” — I Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

Have a Blessed day! ––DRS

[DAVID R. STOKES is a retired pastor and best-selling author. He is the founder of CRITICAL MASS PUBLISHING, specializing in helping pastors and other thought leaders write and publish their own books. ]

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