Your favorite Christmas songs and why

(Brian Weeks) #1

I love Christmas music. I love the traditional songs as well as the newer ones. And, one of the things that I’ve noticed over the past couple of years is how theologically rich and true so many of these song are. They’re saturated with beautiful and infinitely valuable truths from the Bible about God in Christ that I had missed for decades, despite having sung them who knows how many times.

Familiarity, indeed, breeds contempt. Christmas songs had become so familiar to me that I had lost the profundity and glory they exalted. But, relatively recently, I’ve been purposefully considering the lyrics of some of my favorite Christmas songs and what they’re actually saying. Some of them are so good that one could simply read through the lyrics and have preached a complete, Christ-exalting sermon.

Are there any songs that you find particularly meaningful? I’d love to hear what your favorite Christmas songs are and why. What are the lyrics of your favorite Christmas songs saying that the rest of us might be missing due simply to our familiarity with them?

Here are a few of mine and a little bit of how they help me see and savor the glory of Jesus:

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (I am continually amazed at how theologically and doctrinally rich this song is.)

Hark! The herald angels sing, -----the angels are there to glorify God
“Glory to the newborn King; ----- God coming to earth to save us brings him great glory both here and in heaven
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, -----the mercy of the cross of Christ purchased peace between God and his children
God and sinners reconciled!” -----Jesus came, not to bring wrath, but to die as a substitutionary atonement - at-one-ment - for our sins to reconcile us to God. (John 3:17)
Joyful, all ye nations rise, -----God coming as the Savior should bring me exceeding happiness!
Join the triumph of the skies; -----I learned from C.S. Lewis’ Reflections on the Psalms that praise seeks to recruit others to join in on the praise of the glory being praised; the angels are happy and glorifying God for what he is doing and their praise naturally invites us to join them
With th’angelic host proclaim, -----again, the angels praise God
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!” -----God has incomprehensibly condescended himself as he came to earth and became a man so that he could save us

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!” -----glory, indeed, to Christ!

Glorious by For King and Country (I love this band because they have some of the most God-Centered, Christ-exalting lyrics I know of.)

For unto us a child is born

He is the chorus to every song that we were born to sing -----I’m here to enjoy, sing about, and glorify God!
He is the rhythm of your heart so let the beat begin -----I only live because Jesus gives me life
(It’s so) Glorious
(He is) Glorious -----Jesus is glorious!
(Yeah) Glory, this is God with us -----Immanuel

He is the miracle of the love that set the people free -----Jesus saves me from my sin and all of its effects
He is the wonder of the world like we have never seen -----Jesus is a wonder beyond understanding
(It’s so) Glorious
(He is) Glorious
(Yeah) Glory, this is God with us

For King and Country just has a way with their lyrics (poetry) that helps me to cherish the greatness and goodness of God.

How Many Kings by Downhere

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least?
How many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only One did that for me.

Both the lyrics and the music of this song move me to praise God for who he is. He didn’t have to do any of what he did. But, he did. I still can’t get over this. Thinking about how holy and great God is and how I deserved none of what he did for me just brings me to praise him in adoration and thanks. He is so great! He is so good!

I think an integral part of being an evangelist is exulting in the very truth and beauty that we’re sharing with others and trying to help them to see and savor. With that in mind, I’m eager to hear your contributions here as you help the rest of us cherish our wonderful God through Christmas music. So, what are your favorite Christmas songs and why? How do they move you to adore our glorious God?

(Melvin Greene) #2

O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song. It seems to stir something deep down inside every time I hear it. I think about that glorious holy night when God rent the fabric of time, His creation, and entered into our dark, sin weary world as a helpless human baby. Born sinless to a virgin young woman, not in a royal palace, but in a barn, lain in a manger; the savior of all humankind. As the song so eloquently states, “Til he appear’d and the soul felt it’s worth.” What is our soul worth? It’s worth God performing this most audacious and unfathomable act. To become one of us and to eventually take our place and receive the punishment that was due us. That is what this song means to me.
O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

Thanks @Brian_Weeks. Merry Christmas!

(SeanO) #3

Definitely O Come O Come Emmanuel. Moves me to tears. Until I met Christ I was without hope in the world - and then Hope came…

Isaiah 9:2 - The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

Check out this rendition by The Piano Guys

(Jimmy Sellers) #4

All the above and to those I would add.

In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

The lyrics speak to the despair of a world in need of a savior. It show the love of a mother as the first act of worship and it reminds us that even in our poverty there is a gift that we can give, our hearts.

Merry Christmas to you all.

(Melvin Greene) #5

That was beautiful, Sean. Thanks. I really enjoy the Piano Guys.

(Melvin Greene) #6

I don’t believe I’ve heard this song before, Jimmy. The lyrics have deep spiritual truths. Thanks.

(David Cieszynski) #7

For me Hark the Herald the Angels Sing, especially when it’s sang with the organ been played, as the song has deeper meaning that gets my spirit going. Hope I make sense

(Brian Weeks) #8

Beautifully said, Melvin. And I appreciate you sharing this because hearing you worship God for who is, as sung in O Holy Night, helps me to see more of his glory in more of the Christmas songs that we sing.

(Brian Weeks) #9

How gloriously true, Sean. Just the other day I purposefully tried to imagine a world without Jesus having come as the Savior and the little bit of a picture that I was able to come up with left me with a feeling of utter despair. That picture is the bleakest picture I’ve ever imagined.

And to think that, before I was saved, this was my world. O God, I thank you and praise you for saving me. How great you are!

(Brian Weeks) #10

Jimmy, I agree with Melvin. Those lyrics stir my head and my heart.

When I first started to read the lyrics, I thought I knew the song you’re talking about because the first four words are the exact same first four words in Chris Tomlin’s He Shall Reign Forevermore. However, that’s not the same song nor does it have the same lyrics. The lyrics in his song are somewhat similar, but not as old English (which I like), if you will. I really appreciate the beauty in the lyrics you share. And, I’ve never heard this song before. Thanks for introducing me to it and Merry Christmas.

(Brian Weeks) #11

Yeah David, I totally agree. You mentioned the depth of meaning in Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. With regard to that, I’m definitely still finding that there’s more to what I’m seeing than what I’m seeing.