Hark! The Herald Carols Sing, Post #8

Christmas music stirs the soul. Since it’s been playing in all the stores,  classrooms, our cars , homes, and work since November 1st or earlier, I admit that I am guilty of passing over some of my favorite, heart-stirring, theologically-sound Christmas carols as background noise.  Not this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though. Or at least I want to make a conscious effort to let the words soak in.

Take, for example, “Silent Night, Holy Night.” All my life, we have sung that sweet carol in church and on the radio, even out Christmas caroling with neighbors. It wasn’t until a recent Christmas Eve service that I truly listened,  the church sanctuary aglow with merely the warm, bright flames of our individual candles. I let the words marinate. Then I wept.

“Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, Love’s Pure Light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace—
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth. Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.”

How beautiful to think of Jesus as “Love’s Pure Light.” He is. He is. He is the Light of the World! (John 8:12)!

Also beautiful to think of His sweet, redeeming grace that is a true Gift to each of us who want to receive it.

Even “What Child is This?” I passed over for years. Then it hit me.

“Good Christian, fear—
For sinners here
The silent Word is pleading…
This, This is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud—The Babe, the Son of Mary.”

We can almost hear the urgency in the message: “Listen, everybody—this, THIS is Christ the King, don’t you see? Hurry up and bring Him the praises He deserves.”

My favorite Christmas Carol is “O Holy Night.” When I was nine years old, my parents asked/made me start taking piano lessons. I took until tenth grade, when basketball and volleyball took priority. I quit piano. I regret that now. My favorite music to play, and still is, though, are Christmas carols. All those years I played “O Holy Night,” and even sang the words.

It wasn’t until recently that a phrase in the carol moved me, and the Holy Spirit filled my heart to overflowing.

 “Long lay the world
In sin and error pining,
‘Til He appeared
And the soul felt its worth.”

That’s it! That’s it! That’s the message. When Jesus came to this earth and into our hearts, our souls, my soul, finally felt worth. The music level of that carol rises, and our hearts reach a crescendo.

By the way, just for good measure, I looked up the word “herald.” It means “A person who carries or proclaims important news; a messenger. One that gives a sign or indication of something to come; a harbinger.” You are that messenger, my friend.

My simple prayer for you on this Christmas Eve, and I vow to you that I will do the same, is to attend a Christmas Eve church service and listen, to hush our hearts. To breathe the words into our souls as we sing. It doesn’t matter how well you sing. We are called to make a “joyful noise.”

If you enjoy a candlelit service (I love candle light), please hold your candle high when you belt out “Joy to the World.”  What Truth in that carol, spoken so simply, so passionately.

“He rules the world with Truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love.”

Amen. Merry Christmas, Herald Friend! Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Reflect:

  • What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Why? Please comment.

Renew:

  • “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” –Ephesians 5:19, 20 (NIV 1984).
  • “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” –Psalm 108:1 (NIV 1984).

Recharge:

  • Today is the perfect day to know Jesus better, as we celebrate His birthday. He wants you to choose Him. After all, love is not love if not chosen. Simply repeat this prayer aloud:

“Dear Lord Jesus,

 I am so sorry I have chosen to live apart from You. I have tried to run my own life for too long. I want You in my life. I accept the payment of love You gave for me by Your birth, Your death on the cross, and Your resurrection. 

I invite You to come into my heart and life. Thank you for being my Savior, Redeemer and Best Friend.” Amen.

  • If you prayed that prayer, Congratulations! “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” –Romans 10:13
  • Please tell others of your eternal decision, the most important decision of your life! Please find a Christ-centered church home where you worship, fellowship and serve with other Christians. Please demonstrate your new life by your love and concern for others. For more information, check out www.billygraham.org or call 1-877-247-2426.
  • Please comment and let me know also. I’m so proud of you! You just gave Jesus the best birthday gift ever–your heart! Let’s PARTY!
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Comments

  1. Danya, what a great story this morning. I have so many favorite carols, but I think today of “Angels We Have Heard on High”. The lyrics reminded me of sharing the joy of His birth. When Jesus was born there was none of this crazy technology to share the news, but the word spread throughout. Now, We CAN spread the Word like crazy, almost instantly. Thank you for sharing! I love this post!

  2. Merry Christmas to you. What beautiful words on this beautiful day. My kids will tell you I only like the religious Christmas song and cry often listening to the words, especially when sung in church. At first I was going to say Joy to the World but this year Do You Hear What I Hear has truly touched me more than it ever has. I normally cry during the service on Christmas Eve (and to be honest at many services during the year). The beauty and miracle of it all! Merry Christmas to you and your family and Happy Birthday to Jesus! Shout it to the World!

  3. My favorite Christmas carol is This and Silent Night. Silent Night is the tune played by my little lit church that I’ve had since I was a child. It reminds me of caroling in Pittsburgh with my grandmother and her friends. It reminds me of candlelight services and reverence. Getting it out at Christmas time is one of my favorite traditions. Sitting quietly and listening to the music while the little church glows beside the Christmas tree is something I have done for over 40 years. First I was the child with my parents and grandmother. Now I’m the parent watching and listening with my children.

  4. I forgot to say Merry Christmas, Herald! Thanks for the good news. : )

  5. Beautiful and inspiring. Your writing sings..

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