Music is a great learning tool—we use it to teach our kids letters, months of the year, and even Bible verses. Putting even the most mundane trivia to music helps us to recall it at the drop of a hat. But the reverse is also true. How often do we go through the motions of singing a song without stopping to contemplate the words? This is most true for me with Christmas music, especially with older songs that may have been written with a different vernacular than our everyday speech. As the poem says… “their old familiar carols play.” But the author of that poem then stops to both question and then subsequently affirm the truths that these old familiar songs proclaim.
Some excerpts from the old familiar songs:
“Long lay the world in sin and error pining ’til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” ~ O Holy Night
“Let every heart prepare Him room.” ~ Joy To The World
“God and sinners reconciled.” – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
“Let nothing you dismay.” – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
“What can I give him? Give Him my heart.” ~ In the Bleak Midwinter
“From depths of hell Thy people save and give them victory o’er the grave.” ~ O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
“God is not dead nor doth He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail!” ~ I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Oh how often I sing these words without thinking about their full impact! If only these were the messages the world heard from us about Christmas. Everything from the relief from our sin, to our justification and redemption, to a challenge to dismay about nothing and to dedicate your heart to him… all the way to the assurance of the final victory over death and evil… all this is covered in songs that we learn as children.
As you hear an old familiar song this season, take the time to be reminded of everything that was accomplished in the single act of Jesus coming to Earth.
Shane Ardell, technology