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The Challenge of Christmas Carols

December 26, 2011

I know this is probably a bit controversial, but I have to admit that I’m not generally the biggest fan of Christmas carols! But this year I have discovered a new-found love for them.

I think the danger of Christmas carols is that we know them and just sing them automatically. This year, however, I was struck by how jam-packed they are with brilliant truths about the meaning of Christmas and the amazing significance of Jesus coming to earth. Let me just share a few lines, which you have probably sung many times, to illustrate this:

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!


God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay.
For Jesus Christ our Saviour,
Was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power,
When we were gone astray.

Amazing to be reminded that Jesus came so that we may have a relationship with God, even though we don’t deserve it!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,

Wow! Brilliant to remember that the King of the universe came to earth in a humble, helpless baby!

My challenge is to think about what we’re singing and the amazing significance of Christmas, even though we may be singing it for the hundredth time! I’ve just highlighted a tiny selection of the great truths that are contained in Christmas carols, so I don’t know if any more spring to mind for you? Please feel free to share your favourite lines from carols or thoughts in the comments section.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2011 11:28 pm

    I’m not sure which is my favorite Christmas carol..but I agree that when we sing songs of devotion over and over they can begin to lose some of their meaning as it all becomes routine. It’s a good thing to remember to be mindful, and let each words and the significance it carried really carry its weight into our awareness while singing it, bringing God glory.

    Great post. 🙂

  2. December 26, 2011 11:44 pm

    I too am often struck by the meaningful words hidden behind such well known verses. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear has always been a a favorite of mine. Blessings!

  3. December 30, 2011 1:55 am

    I love Christmas carols. I can’t help singing them in my heart all year round. My favorite carol is Silent Night. I love the whole song, but I think my favorite verse is the last verse:

    Silent night, holy night
    Son of God, love’s pure light
    Radiant beams from Thy holy face
    With the dawn of redeeming grace
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

  4. January 1, 2012 8:44 am

    I like music and I like teaching songs to children. Most of the Christmas songs they know are modern ones but have not much meaning to them. There are also some that have commercialized tones but are good ones. They do not know our traditional carols.

    I like Hark the Herald esp. that part, “Glory to the new born king!” and Angels We have Heard on High, “Gloria in excelsis Deo!”

    “O come all ye faithful” and “What child is this”…

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