We love Christmas carols.
Jingle bells and snow and chestnuts are fine things to sing about this season. But nothing compares to those familiar hymns about Jesus’ birth.
Christmas carols are rich in doctrine, with lyrics that profoundly sum up one of history’s most stunning truths: The incarnation. Every December, the world sings about the Gospel. Have you studied the words of carols lately?
It’s in “O Holy Night” that we’re reminded of the very reason we need Christmas: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining – ’til He appeared!” When we were hopeless in sin, Jesus came!
In “Hark! the Herald Angel Sing,” we exalt the person and saving work of Jesus in nearly every verse. The magnitude of His arrival anchors verse 2: “Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see. Hail the incarnate deity. Pleased as man with men to dwell: Jesus, our Immanuel!” Then, in the final stanza, we proclaim: “Mild He (Jesus) lays His glory by, born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth. Born to give them second birth.” Merry Christmas!
In “Joy to the World,” we rejoice that Jesus has come as King and ruler of the entire world. He has made His "blessings flow far as the curse is found.” That’s forever Good News!
In “Silent Night,” the arrival of Jesus is referred to as the “dawn of redeeming grace.”
“The First Noel” is a call to worship Jesus: “Then let us all with one accord, sing praises to to our heavenly Lord, who hath made heaven and earth of naught and with His blood mankind hath bought.”
“Go Tell It On the Mountain” is a missional challenge to tell the world that “God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn.”
We should never get tired of Christmas carols. We should teach them to our kids and belt them out from our church pews. We should hum them in the stores and turn them up on the radio. Christmas is the best news we have. It’s the best song we can sing.
Oh come, let us adore Him!
Bonus: A Non-Hymn Album Your Family Should Have
Of course, not every good Christmas song is ancient. Andrew Peterson’s 15-year-old album, “Behold the Lamb of God” is essential Christmas music at our house. It’s a record that retells the whole story of Christmas.
“Gather ‘round, ye children, come,” the singer-songwriter beckons in the first song. “Listen to the old, old story of the power of death undone by an infant born of glory.” The next 40 minutes of the album move from Moses to the prophets to the arrival of Jesus. (The album even has a 2-minute song featuring Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1:1-17. Classic.)
“Behold the Lamb of God” is a must for every family Christmas music collection.