Sunday, December 25, 2016

Only For The Faithful?

He came once for all, at the end of the age, to put away the power of sin forever."  Hebrews 9:26

I love traditional Christmas carols and have sung them thousands of times in my life. One song in particular is great -- "O Come All Ye Faithful". But it seems incomplete because the invitation in the song is to the "faithful." What about the unfaithful, the broken, the disillusioned? What about the sinners? Are we not all invited to come behold the newborn King? Is not the beauty and the story, the power and the glory of Christmas in its universal message? Christ came for all people -- "whosoever believes..." (John 3:16), "Come to Me all you who are burdened..." is His invitation. Come see and worship and follow the One who came for you.

A few years ago I decided to "add" several verses to this Carol. The following is the "T. Benson Version" of Adeste Fideles:

O come all you weary, sad and lonely-hearted
O come to the solace of His undying love
He heals the wounded hearts and broken spirits
He understands your sorrows
Gives hope for new tomorrows
He'll be the constant comfort and friend by your side

O come all you guilty, full of shame and darkness
Come to the One who came to give you light 
No fault or sin is greater than His mercy
For He is your Forgiver
Redeemer, and your Savior
The stain of sin He cleanses with unearthly grace

O come all you people -- nations torn in conflict
Come to the Hope of the human race
Willing, He came down from celestial glory
Was Born to live among us
He died, then rose to free us
He broke the chains of death and the grave evermore

May God grant you a blessed and beautiful Christmas!

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