O Come, All Ye Faithful

Read: Titus 2:11-15

. . . the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (v. 13)

This Christmas hymn was originally written in Latin (Adeste Fideles) by an English musician named John F. Wade, who was living in France because of his Roman Catholic faith. It was translated into English by an Anglican priest, Frederick Oakeley, who was forced to leave Oxford because of his Roman Catholic sympathies, and who eventually was ordained as a Catholic priest. And it’s been sung ever since at every Christmas by just about every Protestant in the world. Go figure.

Have you ever sung a creed? You have, if you’ve sung the original second stanza of “O Come, All Ye Faithful”: God of God, Light of Light eternal, / lo, he abhors not the virgin’s womb; / Son of the Father, begotten, not created; / O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord. Those phrases are from the Nicene Creed, which was adopted by a universal council of the church in AD 325. The whole Christian church was in turmoil then because of a heresy called Arianism, which claimed that Jesus was a created being and less than God. One of their slogans went, “There was a time when the Son was not.” “Not so!” said the orthodox. The Son is the same as the Father in divine nature, and he is equally eternal. In the words of the Creed, he is “God of God, Light of Light, True God of True God, of one being with the Father . . . begotten, not created.”

If we are faithful Christians, we’re still singing that tune today.

As you pray, praise Jesus, God of God and Light of Light.

Listen along: O Come, All Ye Faithful – Pentatonix

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.

This entry is part 22 of 25 in the series Carols and Lessons