|It is no wonder Paul directed Christians to “teach and admonish one another with…spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16). The words of songs have a way of lodging in our minds and slipping into our subconscious thoughts. At times they prod us immediately and at others seem to lay dormant before springing to life.
One of the songs in the Christmas program has already sparked some thinking. The song is “I Hear Angels Singing.” Its words imagine the angels who sang at Bethlehem, over the birth of Jesus, singing again when a new birth happens in the life of a person today. Notice Claire Cloninger’s words:
For since you spoke my name and since your love came in,
You’ve made this heart of mine into Your Bethlehem!
I hear angels singing! “Someone’s been born again!”
Let’s sing songs of glory like we did in Bethlehem!
For this is a Christmas we will remember.
Let the rejoicing start, for Jesus Christ is born
this Christmas day in another heart!
Those words struck me because they reminded me of something said at the beginning of John’s Gospel. As the apostle reflects on the pre-incarnate Word becoming flesh, he discusses the possibility of a new birth. Speaking of Jesus’ coming John said, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (Jn. 1:12-13).
Your spiritual birth parallels Jesus’ physical birth. Joseph was not his father—God is! Your new birth was divine in origin too! God is the procreator of every new birth. He accomplishes a type of Bethlehem every time another person turns to Jesus in faith. God gets the glory because that birth is the direct result of his divine redeeming grace. Praise be to God, he’s still in the birthing business.
John Kenneth King