During Advent, I am preaching a worship series entitled Christmas Carols. We are exploring the meaning of four hymns celebrating Christ’s birth.
Many songs associated with the holiday season actually have nothing to do with Christmas at all, including Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, We Wish you a Merry Christmas, and Grandma Got Ran over by a Reindeer.
During sermon preparation, I actually found a web site entitled Top Ten Christmas Songs for Atheists.
Yeah, I’ll let you ponder the irony of the title for a moment.
CHRISTmas carols, on the other hand, focus on the birth of Jesus Christ.
So one day in the midst of sermon-writer’s-block, I asked myself the question, “Self, what is your favorite Christmas carol?” Then I flipped through a hymnal to make my selection.
After some internal debate, I finally chose What Child is This. William Dix published the lyrics in 1865. The verses express wonder and awe that the helpless babe of Bethlehem is also Christ the King. The hymn invites all of creation to worship the son of Mary.
Dix set the words to a 16th century English melody title Greensleeves. The 87.87 meter tune with refrain musically reflects the call and response of the words. What child is this? This, this is Christ the King!
So . . .
What’s your favorite carol? And why?