Advent and Christmas hymns are some of the best songs in the history of the church. This is why many of the same ones are used year after year, because they are not only exciting musically, but contain some of the richest lyrical expressions of the Christian faith. There is much to distract us during the holidays, but these hymns serve as a reminder to the beautiful other-worldliness of Christmas. Hymns at Christmas can be sung by young and old, and the wonder of Christmas can be articulated musically by children and by adults. The “Little Drummer Boy” shows us that we are worthy to sing to him, no matter our age or status. I have no gifts to bring, but I can go pa-rumpa-pumpum. At Christmas, we get to sing words like these:
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.
And is there anything more powerfully than the juxtaposition of your voice lifted high with power while singing the refrain “Fall on your knees!”? This illustrates our position so well as those who are at his feet in worship and yet we know his appearance means we will be exalted in glory. For -
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and
The rescuer has come, and so we sing –
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Sing loud this Christmas; go caroling, sit around a fireplace and belt until you can’t anymore: sing in worship and know that the light has truly come into the world.