O Come, All You Unfaithful

I love Christmas, like a lot. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. And I like singing as well. What does that mean? Christmas music. I’m a “year-round-Christmas-music-should-be-played” kind of guy. (I’m not going to debate that issue in this particular post though.)

Given my history in the church, Christmas carols are always associated with this time of year. “Away in a Manger,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful” are classics I grew up singing. And in many ways, there was a serenity and clean-cut picture that began to form in my head around that first Christmas night.

It wasn’t necessarily the carols or the pristine nativities or really anything else other than my own assumptions of how the Savior came into the world. Fast forward to my 30s and my understanding of the particulars of Christ’s birth have changed quite a bit. The clean manger of straw and stark white swaddling clothes have been exchanged with a small ditch dug into the ground containing an unknown number of bacteria in the remaining saliva of the animal food trough and stained clothes from use and the cleaning of a newborn baby.

But more than that, Jesus, the Son of God, condescended, came down, humbled Himself to become … a man. And He did this to save His people. His people. It’s a glorious condescension.

“She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

It’s been a year full of crazy and hardship and depression. Take these difficult times and misconceptions of the first Christmas and you might be in the same position as many others: “Christmas is good, but I’m still pretty broken and beaten. I’m not good enough for Christ.” Enter a new Christmas album in 2020: “Heaven Has Come” by Sovereign Grace Music.

You aren’t good enough, and neither am I. But you are exactly the kind of person Christ came for.

O Come, All You Unfaithful is a particular song on that album that highlights the kind of people Christ was born for: the broken, the beaten, the imperfect, those with checkered pasts, the workaholics, the perfectionists, the self-made but also self-focused … in other words: the sinner.

God sent Jesus to come down here because we couldn’t possibly make it up there to Him. Christ is born for you. So come to Him because He has come to you first.

“He’s the Lamb who was given, slain for our pardon,
His promise is peace, For those who believe.
So come, though you have nothing.
Come, He is the offering.
Come, see what your God has done … Christ is born for you.”

It’s OK to weep at the news of this gift of Jesus. See this love on display, be affected by it and live out this love as a follower of Jesus. So come, even you who are unfaithful because Christ is faithful in our place.

James Hammack

James Hammack is a regular contributor to The Rope. He also is digital services manager for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. He also serves as worship pastor at Sovereign Grace Church, Prattville. He and his wife, Alicia, have three children.

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