This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
A couple of days ago I asked the question about the point of Christmas trees and I came to the conclusion that they are pretty to look at.
My question today is: What is the point of singing Christmas carols?
I’m not talking about ‘Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer’, ’Jingle bells’, ‘Have yourself a very merry Christmas’ or John Lennon’s ‘So this is Christmas’. These songs and others like them have not been motivated by the Christmas story.
The carols we sing did not appear from a vacuum. Godly people were inspired to write the carols in response to the wonderful thing God has done for his people: carols such as ‘Hark the herald angels sing’, ‘Angels we have heard on high’, ‘O come all ye faithful’, ‘Joy to the world’…
While some of the songs embellish and idealise the first Christmas event – the night may not have been ‘silent’, there could have been a howling storm – they generally relate so much of God’s Christmas truth:
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
Who hath made heaven and earth of naught
And with his blood mankind hath bought
God rest you merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy
Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Even the composer of ‘The holly and the ivy’ used something of nature to remind us of the purity of Christ, his blood shed for us and his coronation as the King of the Jews with the crown of thorns placed upon his head.
So many people sing the words to these wonderful songs of joy at this time every year, but how many of us actually listen to the words and understand and believe what we are singing?
The point then of singing Christmas carols? Yes, this time there is a point.
When we sing carols each year, we reiterate the Christmas story in song and remind ourselves and others of God’s great salvation plan and his demonstration of gracious love for sinners.
O holy night Celtic Woman/Chloe Agnew