No matter how many years you’ve been singing Christmas carols, the words still ring with power. These classics address the elemental need of our hearts, giving us hope in a world desperate for glad tidings.

When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the words of, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” he was still grieving his wife’s tragic death less than two years earlier. His oldest son, of six children, was nearly paralyzed in the Civil War. On Christmas day, 1863, as cannons boomed in the distance, he wrote about mankind’s failure to live at peace, and reaffirmed his faith in the only Source of peace.


Despite his heartache and disappointment, Longfellow lifts our eyes to heaven: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail with peace on earth goodwill to men.” 


Christmas carols declare the Good News we need to hear. Here are ten of my favorite phrases this year. 


Peace

“O come, Desire of nations…fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.” ~ O Come, O Come, Emanuel
Through flood, famine, economic disaster, abandonment, and all seasons of life, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. 



A Center of Quiet

“Heavenly music floats over all the weary world…over its babble sounds the blessed angels sing.” It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 

Christmastime can get crazy. It may feel noisy inside your own head. Be still and listen for a song in the night. Jesus came to bring us inner peace. 



Connecting With God

“Radiant beams from Thy holy face…Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.” ~ Silent Night

Do you ever wish you could have been a shepherd who saw the face of the newborn King? Or a wise man who traveled far to meet Him? I’ve envied the disciples, and those who felt His touch of healing. Christmas is the radiance of Christ. 



Worship

“Let earth receive her King.” ~ Joy to the World

Those who truly want to know God, come to the stable and bow in worship. 



Love

“The silent Word is pleading.” ~ What Child Is This?

Jesus is called the Word of God in the gospel of John. And during His ministry, Jesus often used the word “come.” A word of invitation—to accept the love of the Father and walk with Him. 



Value

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope—the weary world rejoices!” ~ O Holy Night 

We all want to feel like we matter to someone. Sin cripples us with guilt and regret. Jesus’ message is, no matter what we’ve done, He came for us. 



Rebirth

“Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.” ~ O Little Town of Bethlehem

Christmas gives us hope for a new start, a spiritual rebirth. We can be clean and new. 



Hope for Eternal Life

“Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save.” ~ Good Christian Men, Rejoice

With heaven in view, we don’t have to be afraid of dying; life can be full and rich. 



Rest

“Tidings of comfort and joy!” ~ God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

The best news ever! 



New Life

“Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings.” ~ Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The message lives on—in Him, in us, ringing out into a needy world. 



Is God speaking to you through Christmas music this year? What are your favorite phrases?



All lyrics taken from Sing to the Lord hymnal, Lillenas Publishing Co., © 1993.