advent 2015 — 3

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

On Sunday night, we spent the evening singing carols with our family and friends and others from the local community. Although the wind was a tad cool, it was delightful to hear children play their musical instruments, recite the nativity story and sing ‘Away in a manger’.

A couple of days ago, I asked the question about the point of Christmas trees. My question today is: what is the point of singing Christmas carols?

I’m not talking about ‘Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer’, ‘Jingle bells’ or ‘Have yourself a very merry Christmas’. These songs and others like them have not been motivated by the Christmas story.

Several years at another carols night, the MC explained that the carols did not appear in 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 the Christmas story – the night may not have been ‘silent’, there could have been a howling storm – these songs contain 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

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 holly and the ivy’ uses something of nature to remind us of the purity of Christ, his blood shed for us and the crown of thorns placed upon his head – the coronation of the King of the Jews.

At this time every year, so many people sing the words to these wonderful songs of joy, 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.

We reiterate the Christmas story each year in song. By singing carols, we remind ourselves and others of God’s demonstration of gracious love for sinners.

O holy night Celtic Woman/Chloe Agnew


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I am a Christian and my purpose in life is to give honour to the Lord Jesus Christ in all I do and say.

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