Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
O Come All Ye Faithful has forever been one of my favorite Christmas songs! While every self-respecting musician has recorded their own rendition, I wanted to know the origins of the earliest hymn. It was written in Latin by John Francis Wade, a music copyist, and later adapted to English by Frederick Oakeley, an Anglican minister.
Oakeley’s first attempt at an English title was, “Ye Faithful, Approach Ye.” While the original title didn’t stick around, the word “approach” stuck with me. It’s a word full of invitation and desire. It’s a request for our presence. It says, “Come near.” And it’s a reminder that God is not far off. He is not distant or hiding himself from us.
And that is the story and miracle of Christmas.
“And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11
After four hundred years of silence, hope of our redemption was birthed once more. “Word of the Father now in flesh appearing.” Jesus came from Heaven to Earth to close the gap between God and man, to pay the price for our sin so that we might approach His throne of grace with confidence. Because He knows it’s at His throne that we “receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The invitation for us today is to come adore the one who bought our healing, our wholeness and our peace with God. Come, encounter the compassion, comfort and kindness of our Savior. Come, approach with our heartache and our brokenness, with our wounds and our scars. Come, joyful and triumphant for our victor over sin, hurt and pain has arrived!