Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Glory in the Highest

In many churches, Christmas Eve is the first time we hear the Gloria since Advent began. We have been awaiting the coming of glory, and now here it is, the angels singing Gloria in excelsis: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace (Luke 2:14). Both the song and the occasion speak of a new . . . . Continue Reading »

The Incarnation

It’s easy to step back and denounce the excesses of the Christmas season: the orgy of spending, too much food, too much drink, too many parties, and expensive ski vacations that bring aching credit card hangovers. Easy, but mistaken. Continue Reading »

Christ Welcomes You to His Feast

It’s His party, but you can come if you want to, even if, like a football poseur at a Super Bowl party, you forget the cause of the fun.Christmas is not for Christians, it is for the Lord Christ, and Jesus is merry. He loves all people, so if you are not a Christian: “Welcome to the . . . . Continue Reading »

O Holy Night (12) - Christ Is the Lord!

This is the final post in a twelve part devotional commentary on “O Holy Night.” See the introduction here.Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,His power and glory Evermore proclaim.His power and glory Evermore proclaim.The carol ends on a note of proclamation, its fourth . . . . Continue Reading »

All My Heart, This Night Rejoices!

This is Pastor Paul Gerhardt’s great Christmas hymn. It first appeared in a collection of hymns published in Leipzig by Johann Crüciger in 1653, with the tune that Crüciger specifically prepared for it. The hymn is a sermon on the meaning of Christmas, and a deeply devotional . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles