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Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Nov 27, 2016
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Carmel Carols: Of the Father’s Love Begotten
Thanksgiving Day is now complete and the acceptable time to play Christmas music has begun. As the tunes fill the background sound of stores and radio stations dedicate twenty-four hours a day to the songs of the season, we should stop to wonder, “What is the meaning behind these songs?”
On this first Sunday of Advent, we sang a new, but very old, Christmas Carol entitled Of the Father’s Love Begotten. This song is based on the truth of Hebrews 1, emphasizing that Jesus is the pre-existent Son of God. Dating back to the 4th Century, this hymn was written by a lawyer and poet who wanted coming generations to know of the critical importance of an “iota,” that is the Greek letter “i.”
Aurelius Prudentius lived in a moment of Christian history when a heresy threatened to undermine the teaching of Christ’s identity. A church council met together to form what is known as the Nicene Creed (which you can read here). The difference between believing that Christ was fully God and that Christ was like God (and created at the incarnation) was the letter “i” in a Greek word. Heretics added the letter.
With concern, Prudentius penned a poem that would state the truth that Jesus is eternal. He is fully God, and has existed forever. He is fully man, able to bear the sin of mankind. Why does this matter? Our salvation depends on Jesus being the eternal, pre-existent Son of God, the Perfect Lamb who was sacrificed for our sin.
So Prudentius wrote these words that we sing today: “Of the Father’s love begotten, Ere the worlds began to be, He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He, Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see, Evermore and evermore!”
To Discuss Today:
1. Pastor Alex stated, “God is not old, He is eternal.” What is the difference?
2. What is the danger of  misunderstanding of who Christ is? How can one heresy affect the faith of many?
3. If a group of three people who claim to be Jehovah’s Witnesses comes to your door today, what is one challenge you could offer them about the pre-existence of Christ?  (Hint- see Hebrews 1:2)
Carols in Your Neighborhood
Next week each family will receive a Carmel Carols packet. This resource will encourage you to continue reaching out to your neighbors by singing Christmas carols on your street. We want you to invite 1-2 families to join you in singing songs about Christ and inviting neighbors to join you for a moment of connection, maybe involving hot chocolate at your home.