As Christmas approaches, the radios and ipods in my car and home have been blaring carols and other holiday music, er... religiously. Yeah, all the time. Without the music, the Christmas season would lose a lot of its magic for me and my kids.
I'm not so picky as some about the beat or rhythm or overall sound, so much. I kinda like it all. We enjoy the traditional carols my husband and I learned as children growing up in church, but we also relish the newer renditions of old songs as well as newly written material. The lyrics, however, hold much more significance for me. A well-written Christmas song not only entertains and inspires, but it teaches theology.
(Has anyone else experienced the parental nightmare of having your 8-year-old listen to Silent Night in the backseat of your minivan and ask, "Mom, what's a virgin?" Apparently Christmas music can teach the birds and the bees as well. But I digress...)
A great Christmas song will celebrate orthodox theology. It will exalt Jesus as no ordinary person but the one and only God-Man (This Baby, What Child is This?, Away in a Manger). It might retell the story of the Incarnation, that magnificent event in a small, humble Jewish town (O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Holy Night, Silent Night). Perhaps it will attempt to communicate the perspective and glory of the angels (Angels We Have Heard on High, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Angels From the Realms of Glory).
Mary has become a favorite voice in recently written or re-recorded songs (Mary Did You Know?, Ave Maria, Breath of Heaven, You're Here). Some songs even manage to show how Jesus fulfilled God's plan from "of old" (O Come O Come Emmanuel, No Eye Had Seen, Here With Us).
My favorites tend to combine inspirational sound with theological truth. A song that can move me to worship, make my spirit soar, as I glorify the birth of my Savior... Click below for a worship experience, and rejoice that we can know truly that, because Christ has come, "All is Well."