"On Christmas Night All Christians Sing"

David Bast

READ : Luke 2:14-20

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. (v. 20)

OK, we've been listening to the angels' singing for several days now; at last it's our turn.

On Christmas night all Christians sing

to hear the news the angels bring,

news of great joy, news of great mirth,

news of our merciful king's birth.

This text is sung to an old English tune known as the “Sussex Carol.” The English composer Ralph Vaughn Williams heard a woman singing this song in a village in the county of Sussex. He wrote down the tune and later used it in his music; hence the name. The words were first published in a 17th-century book by a little-known Irish bishop named Luke Waddell, but it isn't clear whether he wrote them or merely recorded them.

What is clear is that the news of great joy and mirth ought to make us glad as well.

Then why should men on earth be so sad,

since our redeemer made us glad,

when from our sin he set us free,

all for to gain our liberty?

This doesn't mean that we will never struggle, or that if we're good Christians we will be upbeat at all times. A friend who struggles with depression asked me recently to preach about that sometime, because he suspects—rightly, I think—that many Christians also do. We still live under the effects of the fall, both in ourselves and in our world. But it does mean that sadness is temporary. But glad is forever.

Audio Link: http://goo.gl/QKd3EH

PRAYER

Thank you for your promised joy.