By Mike Gilland
One of my favorite Christmas carols is “O Come All Ye Faithful”. Since childhood, this song has been to me the one that most captured the heart of Christmastime. Hearing it has always brought a smile to my face.
A number of years ago, our church’s theme for our Christmas celebration was a call to “Rethink Christmas.” Back then, I applied this challenge as best I could, evaluating my thoughts about the many aspects of this, the most blessed time of year. I even applied it to my favorite Christmas carol, thus the subject of this post.
The lyrics to my favorite song are pointed to the believers identified as the “faithful” who are also described as being “joyful and triumphant.” It is easy to see myself that way. In fact, I think that most of us tend to see ourselves in the best possible light. (Really, who would see themselves as being “unfaithful, grumpy, and defeated?”) The call was, and still is, to behold The Lord, born the King of angels.
But a major truth lies beneath these lyrics. The reason we are able to come, to be faithful at all…is due to the fact that He came for us. One of the amazing statements from the Bible is from Romans 5:8, where it says that he died for us, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS. Jesus didn’t seek us out because we were excelling, or doing great deeds for the Kingdom. No, He came for us – and died for us – while we were still His enemies. What an amazing glance of God’s grace is made possible by this passage.
This Christmas, may we be more faithful and come and worship Him, remembering that He first came for us!
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.