Scripture

Micah 5:2

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

Luke 2:1--18
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

Reflection

There is something intriguing and mysterious about the ancient words of the early Church, many of which were originally written in Latin and Greek. The words of the hymn, O Come All Ye Faithful, was originally written in Latin as Adeste Fideles. We don’t know how many centuries ago it was written, or exactly who wrote it, but there are some who believe the original phrases were written by an order of monks and later translated into English.

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem;

Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

True God, of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
lo, he shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created.

O come, let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

That second verse has a connection with a very important statement of faith of the early Church. Certain phrases of the hymn are very similar to a section of the Nicene Creed, which was originally written in Greek in 325 A.D. Take a moment to see where the phrases of verse two above reflect the words of the Creed below.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

In every language and time, the words of the Scriptures, the Creeds and the carols invite us, the faithful, to come together to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Kings and King of angels. Over the past 2,000 years, there has been a long procession of the “faithful” who have journeyed to Bethlehem, either in person, as Pastor David and many from our church family have done, or in their hearts. As we approach Christmas Day, reflect on how you will experience this invitation once more, “O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant… come to Bethlehem.”

Prayer

Jesus of Bethlehem, help me prepare a way to come to you and worship, not just on Christmas Day, but today, and every day. Help me hear your wisdom and truth in the Scriptures and the words of the ancient voices so that I might be prepared to go and share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. May I receive and share the joy of this season with everyone I meet. Amen.

About

The First 15 is a resource of First Methodist Church Mansfield and meant to grow and enhance your personal relationship with Christ on a daily basis by starting the first fifteen minutes of each day with scripture, reflection and prayer. For more information about First Methodist Church visit our website.