This is an excerpt from “12 Days of Christmas Carols,” a devotional which unpacks lines of familiar Christmas carols you’ve sung for years but perhaps have never really thought about.
At Christmas, God becomes man in order to enter our story, the story of sin and sadness and suffering and death. This is the meaning of Immanuel: God doesn’t remain distant, and doesn’t save from afar. No, the author writes himself into the script in order to save the characters, by becoming like them. He saves from suffering by suffering. He rescues from death by dying. No indignity is too low for this Savior. No depth of misery is off limits to his mercy. And so the King steps off his throne… to save you.
But that’s not where the story ends. Now, on this side of the manger, cross, and empty tomb, Immanuel turns the tables, and invites you to join his story. Take your place in this great narrative of grace, and repeat the sounding joy that has been reverberating since that first Christmas.
Hear the Christmas angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest,” and join their song. Make your life a symphony of praise, echoing the anthem of heaven on earth.
See the shepherds running with “good news of great joy” on their lips, and join them. Make the great glad tidings your message, until the earth receives her king, the nations rise with joy, and the weary world rejoices and sends back the song which pours from your lips and life. Tell the great glad tidings, announce that there is healing in the sun of righteousness, that he has come to ransom the captives and break every chain. Repeat the sounding joy until everyone has heard that the King has stepped off his throne… to save them.