On this Christmas Eve

Dear NAB family,

As the executive director of the North American Baptist Conference, I bring you heartfelt Christmas greetings and blessings.

On this Christmas Eve, of all of the holy days, we as the church gather to proclaim the very mysteries of our faith. While watching children rehearse the scene surrounding the manger, singing the Christmas hymns, and passing the flame of a candle to and from each other, we enter into the deepest doctrinal truths of Christian orthodoxy. We in quietness of spirit seek to grasp, though at best only in part, the mystery of the Incarnation. Our minds, focused by the power of God’s Word, ponder again the words of John, who wrote, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

For me, tonight truly brings to bear the work of the church. On this night, the church labors, with spiritual blood, sweat, and tears, to be the people of God. We as communities of faith gather together to delve deep in the mystery of our God; to worship Him with full abandonment in heart, mind, and soul; to long intensely for His return; and to proclaim boldly to the darkness that the light has indeed come. Perhaps, after a gathering called together for such an intense encounter with the mysteries of God, we ought to exit with a sense of both exhaustion and fulfillment.

The words to the Christmas hymn “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” were written around the fourth century, when the church was wrestling with communicating the mysteries of the divine Trinity and the nature of Christ in His humanity and divinity. As you take a moment to meditate on the words of this hymn, begin to consider again with your heart and mind the core truth of our faith—God became flesh for our salvation.

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!

O that birth forever blessed,
When a virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face,
Evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him,
Angel hosts, His praises sing,
Pow’ers, dominions, bow before Him,
And extol our God and King;
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Ev’ery voice in concert ring
Evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father
And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
And unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory
Evermore and evermore!

May God bless you and yours as you celebrate our Christ and King on this Christmas Eve.





Dan Hamil
NAB Executive Director