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First Christmas Post of the Year (Sorry!)

November 21, 2014

Now it’s nearly Christmas again… Well, OK, not just yet, but I’ve just started looking at what carols we’ll sing at which service. I don’t want to miss out on any of the favourite seasonal songs – after all, we only get to sing them during December (and not even every Sunday of December…)!

Singing is a big part of Christmas, and as always, there are many opportunities to lift our voices in Christmas praise: Carols on the Green, Family Carol Services, Carols by Candlelight and the new kid on the block, Carol Café (this year will actually be our third one!). But have you ever stopped to think about some of the things we actually sing?

“The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes” – rubbish! I’m sure Mary would quickly set us straight on this one. Jesus was a human baby, and I can’t imagine that Jesus wouldn’t have cried like all other babies.

“Little donkey, carry Mary” – well, maybe; but the Bible doesn’t mention a donkey, and if they did have one, it’s just as likely that it would have been carrying Joseph – or their luggage!

“We three kings of Orient are” – the Bible never states how many star-gazers visited Jesus, nor is there any indication that they were kings. In addition, they probably never saw the manger, as Jesus was a child, not a baby, when they came along – probably nearly two years old.

Does it matter what we sing at Christmas? In a way, maybe not – but in a way, I think it does. The cute, cuddly images of some carols might make us disregard the fact that it really happened: Jesus was a real baby, Mary was a real mother, and the birth was a real birth, with all the blood and sweat and pain involved. We’re remembering a historical event, not re-enacting a fairy tale!

Despite the sometimes archaic words, I prefer the theologically heavier carols: “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see … born to raise the sons of earth”. That’s what it’s all about: when God became man, he did it properly, starting with conception in a human womb and going all the way to dying as a human being, to bring new life to all who will accept it. That’s much more amazing than anything else that’s ever happened in history; so in our joyous family celebrations this year, let’s not forget that at the centre is the miracle of John 1:14: the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Happy Christ-mas!


From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

  1. I pull out all my personal Christmas music after the first real snow of the year. As much as it came earlier than I’d like, at least I don’t live in Bufalo.

  2. Susanne Rugg permalink

    How about “Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow”. I knew it – Jesus was born in Sweden!

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