I lift my voice and sing praises to You, O Lord, my God. For I know that as I sing praises to You, my faith in You will be strengthened; my hope in You will be increased; and my trust in You will be renewed.
Focus of the Month: Christmas Memories… The memory of the righteous is a blessing.
Praises of God and the announcement of Jesus’ birth filled the hallways and neighborhoods, echoing in the night air. The voices of young and old united together to make resounding melodies. As the sweet sounds floated up to the skies, hearts warmed in the cold of the night. Tears streamed down some faces as all rejoiced in the most wonderful wonder of wonders…the birth of Jesus – the gift of Christ – Emmanuel, God with us.
Christmas caroling in my community as a teen with my church youth group is one of my favorite Christmas memories. Every December, we spent an evening visiting local nursing homes and shut-ins – even hospitals some years. We would load up in several vehicles and caravan through town. Upon arrival at each location, we all poured out of the vehicles, grouped together with excitement, and strolling through the halls or gathered in the front yards of homes, we would sing both fun and meaningful Christmas carols.
The joy others felt is inexplicable. The melodic sounds rekindled life for some. The truth of the message strengthened faith in many. As I look back on those Decembers nights of old, my own heart swells and tears flow. Why?
The announcement of Jesus’ birth brings hope, peace, joy, life, faith. As we filled the halls and hearts with choruses praising God and rejoicing in the birth of Jesus, the fulfillment of the coming of Christ was experienced anew and afresh in the hearts of all.
Many Christmas carols are formed around the Christmas story, and molded from the very first Christmas song delivered by the heavenly hosts:
Luke 2:13-14 says, “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'”
Throughout scripture we are instructed to sing praises to God; to sing for joy; to sing the glory of His name; to sing of His wonders; and to sing in thanksgiving to Him.
From Joy to the World to Away in a Manger; Hark the Herald to Angels We Have Heard on High; We Three Kings to The First Noel… the Christmas story is told again and again through song. The melodies and lyrics ring so true that these carols of old refresh our vision of hope and our heart of faith in God.
I remember Silent Night always being so emotionally impacting to everyone – not just the hearers, but the carolers as well – as we stood still in His presence and sang of the magnitude of His holiness.
Music & lyrics – songs – help us to not only enjoy a real experience in the moment – but they also help us to remember the experience years and years later. We are instructed to sing to the Lord because it will consistently remind us of who He is and all that He has done for us. It will keep our hearts and our minds in the arena of seeking God, serving Him, praising Him, worshiping Him, and trusting Him forever.
Do you have a Christmas memory centered around Christmas carols? Please share it with us and encourage others in their faith, as well as stirring yourself up in your own.
Holding Fast to Hope,