Alongside the eggnog, the tree, the decorations and gifts, and the ringing of the Salvation Army collection, most of us associate Christmas with the music. Indeed, Christmas carols are some of the very richest of all Christian hymns and music, packed with deep reflections on the coming of the mystery of the ages, how God would be with man, making all things new. Just consider the “middle” verses of Joy to the World:

Joy to the Earth, the Savior reigns
Let all their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders, of His love

Last week we featured a collection of TWI’s best reflections on Advent from Steve Garber, and this week we would call your attention back to various TWI meditations on hymns of Christmas.

We would begin with Steve Martin’s dive into the theology of hymnody, his consideration of why and how Christmas songs are so theologically rich, particularly considering the hymn about a true return from exile, O Come, O Come Emmanuel: Sing Like Never Before: Appreciating the Theology & Stories Behind the Hymns We Love, Part I

Dave Saville reflects on what it is like to encounter Joy to the World from the personal pain of life as a guest at the Ronald McDonald House: Advent Meditations: Joy To The World?

John Kyle reminds us of the world crisis background that sparked the famous line “Do You Hear What I Hear?”: Advent Meditations: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Baylee Eby thinks of human dignity in light of O Holy Night: Advent Meditations: O Holy Night

Becca Hermes considers how an age suspicious of authority should hear the glory when the gospels announce the coming of a king as she reflects on Hark the Herald Angels Sing: Advent Meditations: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Steve Martin also considers the history of the lyric and music, but even more the hope of Hark the Herald Angels Sing: Sing Like Never Before: Appreciating the Theology & Stories Behind the Hymns We Love, Part II

Finally, Steve Garber meditates on the wonderfully contemplative Of the Father’s Love Begotten…

In Charles Wesley’s almost-immortal lyric:

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Amen.  Merry Christmas from TWI.