“And behold there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him . . . And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus . . . he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, ‘Now Lord, Thou does let Thy bondservant depart in peace according to Thy word. For my eyes have seen Thy salvation.'” (Luke 2:25, 27-30)

Behind every Christmas song, there is a story. As I thought on this particular song, I couldn’t help but think about Simeon and the text in Luke 2. Can you imagine the joy in this old man’s heart when he was able to hold in his arms the One whom he had looked for, the promised One, the awaited Messiah? His heart must have leaped within him as he said, “For my eyes have seen Thy salvation.” And so I thought of the words of this ancient hymn . . . Good Christian Men, Rejoice!


Simeon’s Moment by Ron DiCianni
Good Christian men, rejoice,
    With heart and soul and voice;
    Give ye heed to what we say,
    Jesus Christ is born today.
    Ox and ass before Him bow,
    He is in the manger now.
    Christ is born today,
    Christ is born today!


This hymn dates back many centuries. The words were written by a Dominican monk named Heinrich Suso. Suso lived in a time when darkness, poverty, and hopelessness were the facts of everyday life. He was born into a family that would have made him part of the ruling class, but, with a great concern for the common man and his sufferings, Suso chose the priesthood. In his ministry, he worked to lift the spirits of the people, who he knew had very little to rejoice about. This was not the normal ministry of the church during that time so Suso suffered persecution for his service of worship. It did not, however, derail this determined man. He continued until his death to reach the common man with his song and its message.


Good Christian men, rejoice,
With heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss;
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He hath oped the heavenly door,
And man is blessed evermore.
Christ was born for this,
Christ was born for this!


As Simeon rejoiced so did Heinrich Suso. And so have many listeners and singers of this traditional hymn down through the ages. What a wonderful message to ponder in the midst of a fallen world . . . this message of Christmas hope.
    Good Christian men, rejoice,
    With heart and soul and voice;
    Now ye need not fear the grave;
    Jesus Christ was born to save!
    Calls you one and calls you all,
    To gain His everlasting hall,
    Christ was born to save,
    Christ was born to save!


Ah yes! “Good Christian men, rejoice!” For “ye need not fear the grave.” Why? Because “Jesus Christ was born to save!”

Can you imagine the joy and hope this message brought to those people in Suso’s day? Consider their state and then consider how they were ministered to by the words of this great hymn. 

And likewise, we are also ministered to . . . and we “rejoice.” For we not only have this hymn, we also have the Word of God that tells us, “Christ was born to save . . . Christ was born to save!” Rejoice in the biblical message of this great old hymn and let your heart leap with hope and joy!

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to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).  When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.

When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.  

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Want to Share the Gospel this Christmas

This book can also serve as a type of “tract” for your non-believing family and friends. As they discover the origins of many common sayings, they'll find the last one most convicting. The book closes with a saying that was popularized in the TV comedy, "Seinfeld."

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