Surprised by Joy


What does the Jesus Movement have in common with Christmas? A lot. They’re both about Jesus and the gospel.

Christmas is more than lights and tinsel and sleigh bells, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But it’s even more than angels and shepherds and wise men and a baby in a manger. It’s all about the savior of the world being born. It’s about our sins being forgiven. It’s about Christ’s sacrifice and our hope of eternal life. The Jesus Movement brought the gospel forward and Christmas celebrates it.

It’s amazing to me how many of our most famous Christmas carols carry this truth and yet it is rarely seen. Outside of Christian circles, these things are largely ignored as part of the Christmas mantra. Yet for those who believe, it’s the whole point. Just listen to these few examples from the carols you will hear everywhere this season:

Cast out our sin and enter in

Be born in us today.  “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

With the dawn of redeeming grace. “Silent Night”

God and sinners reconciled  “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

And with His blood mankind hath bought “The First Noel”

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns.  “Joy to the World”

To save us all from Satan’ power when we were gone astray.     “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good.   “The Holly and the Ivy”

King and God and Sacrifice.    “We Three Kings”

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.   “O Holy Night”

And brought us all salvation that blessed Christmas morn.  “Go Tell It On the Mountain”

From depths of hell Thy people save.   “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Jesus Christ was born to save.  “Good Christian Men Rejoice”

The King of kings salvation brings   “What Child Is This?”

This Christmas listen for these messages and let your heart leap for joy when you hear them. The great thing is that these carols have become part of our Christmas traditions. You will hear them everywhere. This is a season to be, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “Surprised by Joy.”




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4 Responses to Surprised by Joy

  1. John Fagliano says:

    Born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth
    Born to give them second birth ” Hark the herald angels sing”

    Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother and in his name all oppression shall cease ” Oh Holy Night”
    And the whole world sends back the song which now the angels sing ” It came upon a midnight clear”

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