Perhaps at no other time of year is good Biblical theology sung as it is during the Christmas season. There is much fluff in some Christmas songs that has little to do with Jesus and the coming of Messiah but there are a number of Christmas/ Advent hymns that carry the message of who Jesus is and why he came and the result of our faith in him. This podcast considers two of Charles Wesley incarnation hymns- Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus and Hark! the Herald Angel Sings.
Bible Insights with Wayne Conrad
Theology in Christmas Hymns
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
1. Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of ev’ry nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
5 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 1
2. Joy to those who long to see Thee
Day-spring from on high, appear.
Come, Thou promised Rod of Jesse,
Of Thy birth, we long to hear!
O’er the hills the angels singing
News, glad tidings of a birth;
“Go to Him your praises bringing
Christ the Lord has come to earth!”
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
3. Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end.
By His life He brings us gladness,
Our redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.
Hebrews 2:17-18 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted….
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
4. Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a King,
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne.
“Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
Words by Charles Wesley, 1744
Hymn Tune: HYFRYDOL (22.214.171.124.D.)
Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the new-born King,
peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!’
Joyful, all you nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim,
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem.’
Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the new-born King!’
2 Cor 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
2. Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin’s womb!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with us to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel.
John1:14 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
3. Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail, the sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild, he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die;
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings
4. Come, Desire of nations, come;
make in us your humble home!
Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed,
bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Adam’s likeness now efface;
stamp your image in its place;
second Adam from above,
give us life; impart your love.
Romans 5 :14 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
1 Corinthians 15:4,47
45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
Seed of Woman
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
Romans 16:20 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
December 23, 2021