Most of us have grown up hearing the same Christmas carols our entire lives. We may not know all the verses, but most could join in and sing the first and last verse without the need of music or words.
I confess, I love Christmas music. The sound, the richness, the emotion, the memory. Yes, we are that family that sings Christmas music pretty much the whole year long, but we kick it up a notch about mid-September. But, it is so much more than just a feeling that these songs evoke. Sure there are some just for fun songs thrown in. I mean who doesn’t enjoy a robust version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause?”
Seriously, ancient carols do more than warm my soul, they feed it. Many of them are filled with the gospel, hope, truth, grace, redemption, promises fulfilled, God as God and God as man. Too often, the old saying is true. Familiarity breeds contempt.
I challenge you to take a fresh look at some of these old carols this Christmas season. Read about them together as a family. Search out the truth tucked away in them. I’d love to have you join me for a walk through some old and new carols and discover a new reason to sing them this year.
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Christ is described well in this song. Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Son of Righteousness, Newborn King, Incarnate Deity, Life Giver, Light, Resurrected One.
One of my favorite lines in this hymn is “God and sinners reconcile.” Here is our need in a nutshell. Because of our sinfulness, we are at odds with God and only through Him can we have peace. Romans 5:1 says, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” From newborn king to Lord and Savior all wrapped up in one little carol.
And, the original poem, written by Charles Wesley, takes it even further, covering our entire Christian walk. Imagine if we were to call out to God asking Him to erase “Adam’s likeness,” those things which keep us held to this fallen world and instead allow God’s image to be stamped on us.
Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display thy saving power,
Ruin’d nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.
Let us thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner man:
O, to all thyself impart,
Form’d in each believing heart.
As we celebrate the coming of Christ in the flesh, let’s take the advice of this simple song.
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.
And let’s celebrate that we can be reconciled with God.
II Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 1:19-22