Read Isaiah 9:6–7; Colossians 1:15–20; and Hebrews 1:1–12

Of all the common signs of this season leading up to Christmas—lights strung upon homes, Nativity scenes set out on display, trees decorated with ornaments—the one I most look forward to is the music. The songs of Advent and Christmas invite us to picture the familiar events: the holy family at the crèche, angels singing to awestruck shepherds, wise men journeying toward the “little town” of Bethlehem. These beloved hymns and carols warm our hearts.

Yet within many of our favorites are woven lyrics that break through our familiarity and declare an astonishing theological reality: The newborn in the manger is the Mighty God.

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “We Three Kings” exhort us to comprehend who this infant truly is: “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate Deity.” “Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice.”

“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” sounds out this profound paradox in simple words: “Born a child and yet a King.” These lyrics resound with the truth of Isaiah 9:6–7: This child is the Promised One who will reign eternally on David’s throne, establishing his kingdom of justice, righteousness, and peace.

It’s an unfathomable mystery the New Testament also invites us to dwell upon. The author of Hebrews proclaims, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory” and the “heir of all things” (1:2–3). Paul emphasizes that “in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. … In him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16–17). Jesus Christ is supreme over all things and the fullness of God dwells in him.

This is the promised child God’s people awaited and whose birth we are preparing to celebrate. This is the Lord for whom God sent a messenger to prepare the way, preaching a message of repentance. This is the Savior who, in his mission of love and redemption, would defeat the power of sin and death through his sacrifice on the cross and victorious resurrection. And this is the one whose return we await in hope, trusting in “the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light” (1 Tim. 6:15–16).

This reality—that the child in the crèche is the Mighty God—is far beyond what we can fully comprehend. And yet it is true. In awe and humility, we heed the exhortation in “Oh Holy Night”—“Fall on your knees!” In humble gratitude, we worship him.

Let all within us praise his holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise his name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

Kelli B. Trujillo is Christianity Today’s print managing editor.

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