The Happy Christmas

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

All around him, Nikolai Grundtvig saw churchgoers who increasingly embraced a watered-down faith. Churches throughout his native Denmark were everywhere. Yet when he urged a return to Biblical standards, he was criticized, and even prohibited from preaching.

He might have become a pastor, but instead became an author and teacher, and an important voice for reform within Denmark politics. Through these circumstances, he sought to serve the Lord, particularly as the author of important hymns.

As the Christmas season approached in 1817 (when he was 34), he penned a hymn that reinforced the centrality of Jesus for Christians. The title (“The Happy Christmas Comes Once More”) does not focus on the revelry many associate with Christmas, but on Jesus.

Grundtvig described how “the heavenly Guest is at the door.” How thrilled the shepherds were to hear the angels’ message. How wonderful the “joyous tidings” of peace and good will. While the world “could scarcely find for You a bed,” His “cradle was a manger stall.”

In our hearts, we symbolically have the opportunity to “go with quiet mind” to that manger. As we gaze on the “gentle Babe,” we will see “the lowly Savior.”

His presence should fill our heart with singing: “O wake, our hearts, in gladness sing, and keep our Christmas with our King, till living song, from loving souls, like sound of mighty water rolls.” What joy He brings to our hearts, as the “Son of Man, incarnate Word.”

But Grundtvig knew that each person needed to have a personal encounter with that Child: “Come, Jesus, glorious heavenly Guest, keep Thine own Christmas in our breast.” As we fellowship with Him, and declare Him our Lord, our hearts will be filled with joy.

As Grundtvig knew, the real joy—at Christmastime and throughout the year—is knowing Jesus. Worship Him. Celebrate His birth. Make Him your Lord.