David Stokes

We are not told the style of music – nor are we told the instrument or instruments used to express it (if any). We are just given the words. They are inspired words – and they have endured. They are ancient words – yet ever new.

The first Christmas Carol is introduced in scripture this way: “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great…” (I Timothy 3:16 NIV)

There are many things communities of faith have wrestled with throughout history. But Paul reminds us all these centuries later that there are some no-brainers for the faithful. First and foremost is that most powerful of all ideas that God has come to the earth—the Word has been made flesh.

So – this season let us reach back for one of the forgotten “oldies” – a first century worship favorite. They likely sang it in places like Ephesus, Thyatira, and Philippi. There were no ornate cathedrals or padded pews.

No multi-media presentations were used to tantalize the eyes. Just words—powerful and profound. Go ahead and make up your own music – but don’t mess with the words. They are from God. They are a Christmas gift from the one who gave us the reason for the season.

And – one…two…three…

“He appeared in a body, Was vindicated by the Spirit, Was seen by angels, Was preached among the nations, Was believed on in the world, Was taken up in glory.”

-I Timothy 3:16 (New International Version) Merry Christmas!


David Stokes

David R. Stokes is a best-selling author, pastor, columnist, and broadcaster. His latest book is a novel: CAPITOL LIMITED: A Story about John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Based on a true story, it's about a unique moment in 1947, when Kennedy and Nixon shared