This summer I heard a song that I immediately thought was a perfect song for celebrating Christmas. It is titled “King of Heaven” and is the last track on Hillsong United’s album Zion. Although it isn’t necessarily a song only for Christmas, the theme definitely relates as the song poetically portrays the wonder of God becoming man (John 1:14).
One of the things I like about the song is how the music and imagery in the lyrics create a sense of awe and wonder at God’s design to save us from our sins (Matt 1:21). Listening to the song always stirs me to consider the shocking way in which our savior Jesus came to us; to think that the one through whom all things were created (Col 1:16) came in such a humble manner, coming as a helpless baby to a family of little significance. Though many celebrate Jesus’ birth today, at the time of his birth very few celebrated or were even aware of His importance. Most were unaware that their “eternal hope,” the light that would pierce through darkness (John 1:4-5), had come into the world.
With how often the name “Emmanuel” is repeated in the song it is surprising that the title of the song is something different. The title comes from the lyrics in the bridge which further emphasizes both the significance and contrast of God becoming man. The lyrics speak of the “King of Heaven,” the God who breaks through in our lives and lifts us out of brokenness, being here with us. The climax of the bridge comes as it builds to the declaration, “King of heaven on the earth be found,” which speaks not just to a past event but signifies that God is with us today.
That is the good news that this song celebrates, “Emmanuel, God with us.” It is something to celebrate and remember all year long, not just at Christmas. Knowing that the “King of Heaven” is with us should change how we live. My prayer is that as we worship our savior with this song we would all grow in living out of the truth that God is with us.