"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)
"Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God." (1 John 4:2)
I'm driving home from work the other day listening to some lesson on Christian radio when it comes time for the standard invitation to pray Jesus into your heart. I change over to the 24-7 Christmas station and hear this verse from Silent Night, "Christ our savior is born. Christ our savior is born."
Something hit me. I don't know whether to call it a dichotomy or a paradox. But the above passages that justify salvation via a prayer in the comfort of my own car while cruising alone down the highway aren't limited by the tradition of the "sinner's prayer." In fact, could they not extend to our favorite Christmas hymns? Consider:
- "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing." -O Come, All Ye Faithful
- "Joy to the world, the Lord is come!... Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!" -Joy to the World
- "The King of kings salvation brings, Let loving hearts enthrone him." -What Child is This?
- "Christ the savior is born... Jesus, Lord at thy birth" -Silent Night
- And the entirety of Hark the Herald Angels Sing is a song of praise for the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
As you ponder this doctrinal loophole, consider its implications. A local radio station effectively goes off-air from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas to play nothing but Christmas hymns and carols. Yes, many are secular. But others have such theological depth that you cannot help but to praise God while singing along. These same songs fill our shopping malls and department stores. School choirs and bands practice these songs for months to prepare for the annual Christmas concert (where they are still allowed to do so). Television schedules Christmas specials while movie producers plan their releases to time with the holiday season.
Two thousand years later, the whole world stops what it is doing and changes course. All because of a little baby born in a manger.
Now I'm not necessarily suggesting that one can "come to Christ" by singing along to a Christmas hymn, but I am suggesting that maybe these songs are the only glimpse of Jesus someone else may see. If we can go door knocking to invite someone to church, shouldn't the same principle apply when we go door to door caroling?
These are more than just favorite traditional songs. They are hymns of worship and praise. Come, let us adore Him!