“The wonder of Christmas is that God became flesh – had a real body and came to earth on a rescue mission.”
Carols at Christmas
Christmas is almost here; many festive songs are being played in busy shops and shopping centres. Noddy Holder is still “singing” out “It’s Christmaaaaaaasss!” This, along with the many decorations in the same shops and shopping centres, emphasise the fact that Christmas is almost here. Grown-ups are busy doing the shopping they feel they must do; little children are getting more and more excited – as are the bigger ones! Teachers at school are getting more and more exhausted.
As a church we will be singing carols in the run-up to Christmas as well as at the Carol Service. We will sing a number of well-known carols and one or 2 modern ones.
Most years on the radio, papers and TV they have another vote for the U.K.’s favourite carol. What would be your favourite? Usually it turns out to be “Silent Night”. I wonder what it will be this year! Some years in the charts Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has a place! Although I don’t think it fits the definition of a Christmas Carol!
I guess we would all have our favourite carol, and on Christmas morning I let people have a chance to pick their favourite for us to sing (usually the first and last verse of the carol to give other people more chance to pick their favourite).
Personally, I like the ones that are easily singable, that put the wonders of the truth of Christmas in words that we can easily sing and fix in our minds. This gives me a range of many carols, some older and some much newer. At the moment my personal favourite is one written by a friend from South Wales and found in some hymn books and in each verse, Graham Harrison contrasts the truth that the baby born and named Jesus is fully God and yet has a real human nature. The carol reads:
See He lies there in the manger who once made the earth and sky.
Down from heaven He’s come, a stranger; newly born, yet born to die.
Hands almighty, now lie helpless round His mother’s finger curled;
lips so gracious, now yet speechless, soon will speak to all the world.
Shepherds hasten to adore Him, wise men offer gifts so rare.
See the lowly maiden rocks Him gently, with a mother’s care.
Made a man for man’s salvation, yet eternal God is He;
born to save from every nation, from their chains to set men free.
Now they worship and adore Him as they hear the baby’s cries;
but the crowds will mock and scorn Him as He helpless hangs and dies.
Christ incarnate, come to save us, rid our hearts of wretched pride;
reign alone as Sovereign o’er us – You are worthy! You have died!
Well might angels sing in wonder as they herald forth His birth;
even they can scarcely ponder why God’s Son came down to earth.
See Him now, enthroned in glory, earth awaiting His return.
While our hearts recount His story may these hearts within us burn.
The wonder of Christmas is that God became flesh – had a real body and came to earth on a rescue mission – the name Jesus means Rescuer – we use the word ‘Saviour’. He became this so that we could know His love and rescuing in our lives and have a home guaranteed for us in heaven. Jesus is God’s best gift to us and is given although we do not deserve Him.
I pray that in all the busyness and business of Christmas we will have time to remember the full meaning of Christmas and that we would all know God’s blessing on our loved ones as we go into 2020.