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!
(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,
Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Come, Desire of nations, come,
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,