Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Evangelical Christmas Carols

I've underestimated how evangelical a lot of Christmas carols are - as in how thoroughly gospel-focused they are.
Take the unfortunately little-know carol The Infant King. It goes from incarnation to suffering of the cross to victorious resurrection. Or As with Gladness Men Of Old. The second verse says that we "with willing feet", would "ever seek thy mercy seat" - that is, the cross. The third verse challenges us to bring "all our costliest treasures" to "Christ... our heavenly King". But I like the fourth and fifth verses best (and you have to read the fifth verse with the descant in mind):

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its light, its joy, its crown,
Thou its sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!

May the Lord bless you this Christmas - the risen Lord Jesus, who has conquered sin and death for us, and whom we shall see, "not in that poor lowly stable, with the oxen standing by... but in heaven, set at God's right hand on high" (from Once in Royal David's City).

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