“Silent Night! Holy Night!” “Joy to the World,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “O Holy Night,” “What Child Is This?”–these (and more) are songs we sing at Christmas-time. We know them; a lot are very familiar songs.
But do we really know them? Do we pay attention to the words, think about what we’re singing?
In the third verse of “Silent Night,” it speaks of “love’s pure light” beaming from Jesus’ face “with the dawn of redeeming grace.” Have you ever stopped and thought about that? Love was shown by Jesus–He was love–and with His birth came the dawn, the beginning, of grace that could redeem us.
“Joy to the World” talks about the King and Savior coming, reigning, ruling. The writer urges us to prepare room for Him in our hearts and sing while nature worships and rejoices with us. The third verse says to not let sins and sorrows grow anymore or let “thorns infest the ground,” because “He comes to make His blessings flow”; for me, this points to the day when the old things pass away and everything is made perfect (Revelation 21:3-5).
“O Come, All Ye Faithful” talks about (obviously) coming and adoring Jesus, the King of Angels, Word of the Father, Christ the Lord. But there’s one verse that I didn’t know existed till I looked this song up; it basically says that the “God of God, Light of Light… Very God Begotten, not created…” humbled Himself to be born of a virgin. Wow!
In verse one of “O Holy Night” it says that the world lay “in sin and error pining” for a long time, but when Jesus appeared “the soul felt its worth,” and the weary world rejoiced and felt hope.
Verse two says the King of kings was laid in a lowly manger, born to be our friend in all our trials; “He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger.”
Verse three declares that His law is love, His gospel peace; He shall break chains, and oppression will cease in His name. “Let all within us praise His holy name.”
I found two slightly different versions of the second verse of “What Child Is This?” One says, “Good Christian, fear: for sinners here The silent Word is pleading.” The other says, “The end of fear for all who hear The silent Word is speaking.” Either way, it’s a wonderful assurance: He pleads for sinners and takes away our fear.
The third verse invites both peasant and king to come love Jesus, who is the King of kings and brings salvation.
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. I encourage you, next time you’re singing or listening to music (and it doesn’t have to be Christmas music), to think about the words. (You need to do this too, Julie! 🙂 )
What’s your favorite Christmas song? And why do you like it? What are some of your favorite words or things in it that stick out to you?