Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Carols

*warning: Christian propaganda ahead*

In church last Sunday, we had a "Lessons and Carols" service. The service consisted of scripture readings surrounding the Christmas story each followed by a Christmas carol. Some I knew and some I didn't. It struck me, though, how many Christmas songs involved talking about preparing your heart for Christ's arrival.

For example, in "Joy to the World" (one of my personal favorites):

LET EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM!

Not too long ago, I talked with my friend Gary about the nature of sin. I know some people who were raised Christian and are now atheist who have a very different experience with the Christian concept of sin than I do. One of them said to me that all he ever hears in Christian "mythology" is talk about fear and sin. He believes theology to be a long list of "DON'Ts." That has not been my experience. None of us is perfect. No matter what we believe or don't believe. We will always make mistakes. But Christians believe in the concept of grace. And I personally believe that true sin is whatever keeps us from God. It isn't a laundry list of rules such as "don't have sex" and "don't have doubts."

In the Christmas season, we are compelled to prepare our hearts to receive the greatest gift. It is the perfect time for a little pre-Spring cleaning. Because when Lent rolls around, we'll have lots of spiritual work to do. In the meantime, we can put aside all the stress of gifts and parties and hustle and bustle and make some time to prepare Him room. And to spread a little of that cheer and love to our neighbors.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. What are your favorite Christmas carols and why? Drop me a comment.
My favorites are JOY TO THE WORLD, THE CHRISTMAS SONG and HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS. But really, I love them all!

4 comments:

Literary Feline said...

I love Christmas music and just when I think of one favorite, another comes to mind and then another. The truth is that I like almost all of it. :-) I guess if I had to pick, The Little Drummer Boy, Do You Hear What I Hear, What Child is This, Sleigh Ride, Carol of the Bells, Hark! The Herald Angel Sings, O' Come All Ye Faithful, I'll Be Home For Christmas . . . The list is endless!

Amy said...

Oh, you picked some really good music. There is something so wonderful about "Little Drummer Boy." It always gives me chills. I like "Carol of the Bells" also.

Gary said...

I absolutely agree. For me, Christianity is grounded in the very beginnings - Christ's teachings. Whether you believe in God or not, I have a hard time seeing how you can argue against those lessons. They're about decency, humility, respect, joy, and so on. That's about as cool as things can get.

I get frustrated with those who think Christianity (or any other religion, for that matter) is a simple laundry list of "dos" and "don'ts." In my experience, those folks always focus on the "religion (organized or otherwise) is bad/evil" point-of-view. That's one-dimensional thinking, period. A little introspection and reflection brings out a lot more (this coming from someone who is still on the fence).

I like "Away in a Manger" because of its peaceful tone and melody.

Purl said...

great list! I like Joy to the World, Come All Ye Faithful, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and more!

I'm looking forward to our service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday.

And very well said, Gary!