I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’” ~ Psalm 89:1-4
As Christmas approaches, we hear all the “holiday classics” that sing about reindeer and Santa and snowmen. And there are the songs about Bethlehem, songs that are dear to us because Jesus our Savior was born there.
Why Bethlehem? Because it’s David’s town. A thousand years before the first Christmas, King David ruled. It was a golden age for God’s people on earth. But David’s reign wasn’t perfect. And it wouldn’t last forever.
Yet God promised that it would last forever…through Jesus. Jesus was born as the legal (not biological) son of Joseph, in the line of David. He was born as a descendant of David and the heir to the throne. He was born in Bethlehem, David’s town. The angel Gabriel told his virgin mother: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32-33).
And under King Jesus, it is a truly golden age. Jesus has rid the world of sin’s condemnation, death’s dominion, and the devil’s tyranny. The peace of forgiveness reigns. God’s grace rules. Right now, we live in that kingdom by faith, not by sight. But in heavenly glory, this kingdom of Christ will be visible and eternal.
If there are songs about reindeer and snowmen, fine. It’s fun and festive. But if you’re feeling alone or afraid or guilty or uncertain, then sing about Bethlehem and about the One born there, the One who has David’s throne forever. Those are the songs that really count, that really bring us peace through God’s word and give us life and salvation.
As you get ready for Christmas, sing about the King! Sing that God’s love stands firm forever! Sing and make the Lord’s faithfulness known! Sing that God always keeps his promises! Sing about the newborn King!
Hark! the herald angels sing,” Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all you nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
~ Charles Wesley