Here's another Christmas reflection from a previous edition of our senior adult newsletter. This one comes from the 2009 Joyful Tidings.
One of my favorite Christmas songs of recent years is an arrangement done by Point of Grace called “Let There be Light.” There’s a verse in it that speaks so powerfully to my heart about the mystery of the incarnation and the glorious truth that God chose to become a man in the person of Jesus Christ. The verse says,
He spoke after centuries of silence
In the midst of a still, starry night.
And Immanuel came down among us
And the Father said, “Let there be light!”
Two or three things jump out at me from this beautiful song. First, God broke His silence of approximately four hundred years since the time of the final Old Testament prophet Malachi when He sent His angels to announce the birth of His Son to some common shepherds tending their flocks on a hillside near Bethlehem. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” Surely the nation of Israel was longing for a fresh word from God after four centuries of silence, and God answered their hearts’ plea with a definitive word by sending them His Son.
Secondly, the word Immanuel is highly instructive. As the angel appeared to Joseph to assure him that Mary hadn’t been unfaithful to him but rather that the baby she carried was a miraculous gift of God, he told Joseph that the baby was to be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” The God of the universe invaded planet Earth in the person of Jesus to reveal God to us and to redeem us from our sins.
Finally, the text of the song imaginatively records God the Father saying once again, even as He had at the dawn of creation, “Let there be light!” While perhaps those very words weren’t uttered by the angelic hosts, the message certainly was present. Writing in the prologue to his gospel in John 1:4-5, the beloved apostle penned these words, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” I’m so grateful at this Christmas season as we observe the beautiful decorative lights, that God sent the true Light, His Son, into the world to show us His love.