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Today's New Reason to Believe

Merry Christmas

By Hugh Ross - December 24, 2017

I grew up in Canada during the 1950s and 1960s. A Christmas tradition during that time in Canada for both Christians and non-Christians was to sing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve. Thus, though I was not raised in a Christian home, every Christmas Eve I was exposed to the rich Christian doctrines that are present in the lyrics of so many Christmas carols.

Sadly, Christmas music has evolved. Today, Christmas music is heard not just on Christmas Eve but 24/7 from Thanksgiving (or earlier) to New Year’s Eve. The music, however, does not bring glory and honor to the Creator who came to us as a baby to bring salvation to the world. Instead, nearly all the attention is heaped on Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, mistletoe, sleigh bells, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, dreams of a white Christmas, love gone sour, and even cold weather. The Christmas music I hear in stores, airports, hotels, and other public places will, on rare occasions, feature a Christmas carol but always without the lyrics.

The rationale I hear for avoiding Christmas carol lyrics is that they may offend people of different faiths. However, in my experience people of different faiths enjoy Christmas carols, too. Christmas carols really do bring “joy to the world.”

In Psalm 137 we learn that even the pagan Babylonians demanded songs of joy from their Jewish slaves. They said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” (Psalm 137:3).

For me, Christmas carols are the epitome of joyous music. At this Christmas season, as you and your loved ones celebrate the coming of our Creator, Lord, and Savior I encourage you to take time to listen to the great Christmas carols of our faith. Sing them to your friends, relatives, and neighbors. Consider the rich doctrine in the lyrics. In the context of doctrinal content, my favorite Christmas carol is Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. The words of the third stanza always bring me to tears:

Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

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