• Emmanuel – the name given Jesus Christ as the deliverer of Judah prophesied by Isaiah
• Hallelujah – God be praised (uttered in worship or as an expression of rejoicing)
• Joy – a feeling of great pleasure and happiness
• Gloria – a Christian liturgical hymn or formula beginning (in the Latin text) with Gloria
I never realized how beautiful and significant all these words are until this Christmas. I hear these words at least once a year around this time if not more. So much power and significance it doesn't really make sense that we could so easily forget about them during the remainder of the year. I guess I've just realized how I've gotten so caught up in my own life and what crazy busy thing is going on right now that I've somehow forgotten the simplicity of this season and what it all means.
Yes there are always a ton of Christmas parties happening and gifts to buy, but how often do we really take a moment and reflect on the significance of this holiday? Do we only designate Christmas Eve in which we reserve for church to celebrate our Savior's birth or Christmas Day in which we might thank our Heavenly Father for the ultimate gift of His ONLY son before we enjoy a meal with our own families? What about all the other days of the year? We may not bust out the Christmas music, but the truth of this holiday is that without it we would remain lost.
I don't write this to be critical, I write this because I too am guilty of getting so caught up in the glitz of the season that I can forget the significance of it all and the true reason for the season. I think of how scared Mary must have been when given the task of giving birth to our Savior King. How much disbelief Joseph must have felt when told that he would be given the task of being Jesus' father here on earth. And what about Jesus himself, that is a daunting task to know that you are the one, the only one who will save a fallen world. But they did it all with such faith and strength. Not their own strength, but because of their faith and trust in God they all knew that things would work out exactly the way He intended them to.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is reflection. Reflect on those words you hear in the music this time of year. How often we sing "Emmanuel" or you see the word "joy." Think of the significance and the impact and joy that one Savior brought to a lost and fallen world, and continues to bring with the truth of His story and His purpose.
Original Post: December 7, 2007