As we anticipate the coming of Christmas in our hearts, homes, and churches, we are already enjoying the sounds of Christmas music that accompanies the season. There are radio stations playing non-stop Christmas music and stores playing upbeat Christmas songs as we shop. Some of the most beautiful music we hear during this season comes from our churches on Sunday as we join our voices in singing timeless Christmas carols. Christmas music programs are at their best during Christmas and Holy Week as they present music to their audiences, all for the glory of God and to celebrate His coming.
Liturgically we celebrate Advent until December 24, followed by Christmastide December 25 – January 6, which ushers in Epiphany. Our churches celebrate these seasons with beautiful music, all of which point us toward the coming of Christ and His birth.
As you hear and participate in the music this yuletide season, challenge yourself to focus attention on the great theology found in these Christmas hymns. Some of the strongest theology we sing all year can be found in many of our favorite Christmas carols.
For example, “Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free” reminds us that the coming of Christ has indeed offered freedom from our greatest captor, sin. Jesus’ entrance into the world offers us freedom from guilt, shame, fear and a host of other grips of human failings. Without the coming of Christ, where would the world be? Where would we be? How has Jesus’ coming impacted who you are today and your mission in life?
When you sing “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” think to yourself, how do you behold Him? How are you adoring Him in your life? Are you joining with the choirs of angels in singing of His glory? What a thought!
We can praise God that Jesus has come to reconcile sinners to Himself when we sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Praise Him for forgiveness and for counting us as the righteous before Him, all due to the coming of Christ.
Allow the beautiful, simple hymn “Silent Night” to prod you to sit in silence this holy season and think on His goodness in your life. How can Jesus help you bring calm into your life?
And of course, “Joy to the World” is the jubilant reminder to make room for Christ in your heart, every day and in every situation. Ponder on the wonders of His love.
When you sing these timeless truths of Christmas, many of which were written centuries ago, don’t just sing; think of the reality of Christ, the veracity of the lyrics and how these words can strengthen your walk with the Lord.
Glory to the newborn King!