I think many of us grew up learning practically the same set of Christmas songs — some celebrating the birth of Jesus, others secular, happy just to embrace warmth, contentment, good cheer — and even humor — without reference to a baby being born in Bethlehem. I’m pretty sure this song, “Christ Is Born” is not in most familiar Christmas sets, which makes it uniquely useful as a fresh conversation piece about the Prince of Peace. Please give it a sing-along listen, then come back and we’ll talk about putting this song’s call to action to work — helping us do something we already love to do.
“You promised …”
“♫♪ Christ is born, the promised Savior ♫♪ …”. So begins this song. Seconds into the song and I want to slam on the brakes. WHAT promise? Actually, WHAT a conversation starter! We could sing this song and begin a conversation about Genesis where God created, and man sinned which launched problems that required a savior to fix. Genesis 3 offers the first of many promises in the Bible about the one who would appear and repair what Adam broke.
NEWS FLASH!! “Christ is born, the promised Savior. Angels appear and declare it has happened!” If I had written this song, I’d be looking for a way to work “joy” and “hallelujah” into the lyrics. I love how this song writer was way ahead of me on that one.
Tell the good news
“♫♪ Heaven with joyous music rings ♫♪ …”. The song’s second line offers another track for a conversation. Why is joyous music ringing in Heaven? And — can we get in on the joy?
Yes we can. The path to this joy is found in this story of the birth of Jesus Christ — and in learning its importance. Information can be easily found — and happily read — in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
A complete account of events surrounding the birth of Jesus as recorded in the Bible might include:
- Mary hearing from the angel
- Mary and Joseph
- Mary and Elizabeth
- Rome’s Census and travel to Bethlehem
- Angels announcement and the Shepherds
- His birth, where and what took place
- Simeon and Anna
- Magi and King Herod
- Flight to Egypt
This song is too short to tell all that, but it does touch on important parts — first, declaring that Jesus was indeed born, then the angels appearing and announcing, and shepherds hearing, seeking and finding him. These pictures in the song can remind us of those other parts of the story we may have learned already. Enough to re-ignite joy in both our hearts and voices, and give us something to talk about.
Getting to know Jesus
“♫♪ Christ is born, the Lord’s anointed ♫♪ …”. Still in the first verse, we sing of “the Lord’s anointed”. I found a list with more than a hundred different names or titles in the Bible referring to Jesus. These names and titles can help us get to know our Lord and Savior better.
The word “Christ” draws from the Hebrew word for “anointed”. We hear “Jesus Christ” so often, some might think “Christ” is his last name. Actually, the two together mean “Jesus, the anointed one.”
This brief song manages to mention at least eight of his hundred plus names or titles:
- Christ (“anointed one”)
- King of Kings
- Prince of Peace
- Son of God
- Son of Man
Do you see more here to talk about with someone? Sing the song with a friend, point out these names and consider together what they tell us about Jesus. Next step could be to search for other names or titles in the Bible and talk about them.
This song is not well known and so I doubt it will rekindle many memories of past Christmases. It is a little song — not much time to do a lot. All that said, we can marvel a bit at what it DOES. It serves by bringing to mind:
- the faithfulness of our Father and His promises,
- the joy found in the story of our Savior’s birth,
- the authority carried by Jesus Christ as indicated by names and titles, and
- the bright days yet to come (“♫♪ Never shall his kingdom end ♫♪ “.)
It is risky to try to pack too much into a song, but I love that this little song touches on all those things — plus one more — which is a call to action. It invites us to do things we already love to do — receive him, respect him, rejoice and “♫♪ round the earth the message send ♫♪ “ — tell the story that Christ is born.
God bless you lots!
LYRICS – Christ Is Born
Text: F. E. Pettingell
Tune: J. H. Kurzenknabe (1890)
1 Christ is born, the promised Savior,
Heaven with joyous music rings;
Christ is born, the Lord’s anointed,
Prince of peace and King of kings.
Round the earth the message send:
Never shall his kingdom end.
2 Angels brought the joyful tidings
Shepherds heard, then swiftly ran
‘Til they found the Lord and Savior,
Son of God and Son of man.
3 Christ is born, O blessed story!
Ages old, yet ever new;
Christ is born, rejoice, receive him,
Give the King his rightful due.
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