Christmas Kick-off


Christmas has officially begun at our house.  My wife has one rule–not a sprig of holly, a whiff of fir, or a snatch of caroling until after Thanksgiving.  Today being the day after Thanksgiving, we will hearken unto herald angels, deck the aural halls, and dream of a white Christmas until we sleep in the silent night.  All this because my daughter and I are rabid Christmas carol fans.

I will never forget my first Christmas after becoming a disciple.  My sister and I walked into a mall to find a gift for mom.  Trumpeting away in one of the stores was, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King!  Let every heart prepare Him room.  Let heaven and nature sing!”  I stopped dead in my tracks to worship.  How had I sung these songs every year yet never heard them?  Until our hearts turn to the Lord, He truly remains veiled; our minds are blinded by unbelief (2 Cor. 3:14, 4:4).

Over the years my appreciation of carols has grown.   Beyond the catchy tunes are heartfelt worship songs.  Most came to be associated with Christmas because they mention the birth of Christ.  But their gospel presentation goes far beyond the incarnation.  From Bethlehem they launch into mini-sermons full of spiritual depth.  Many times, we only sing the first verse or two.  But usually these are just appetizer verses.  The real meat is further down the hymnal page, so to speak.

This season, I will feature some of my favorite Christmas carols.  Meditate on their messages.  Enjoy the fact that Christ is everywhere proclaimed and is on the lips of every caroler–whether they know it or not!


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

(Words by Charles Wesley; Music by Felix Mendelssohn)

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”Refrain

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.


Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.


Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.


Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine 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,
Formed in each believing heart.


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