All I want for Christmas is you…to think Biblically and faithfully about the songs you sing in church, even during Advent and Christmas. To this end, as Scroogey as it may seem, here is my list (complete with overly emotional video links) of the Top 5 Humbug Hymns we sing during the Christmas season:
5. Do You Hear What I Hear?
4. Away in a Manger
“The cattle are lowing,
the poor baby wakes,
but little Lord Jesus,
no crying he makes.”
Why not? Is crying a sin? Maybe this line was penned by some disgruntled passive aggressive parent on night six of 3:00 am newborn night duty? “You know, Johnny, baby Jesus didn’t cry at night.” No, our Lord, from the moment of His divine conception in the womb of Mary has been fully, completely, totally human. Dirty diapers, crying, disgruntled parents and all.
3. We Three Kings of Orient Are
2. Little Drummer Boy
1. Silent Night
His death. Now there was a silent night. Sure, the onlookers were vocal enough, but not the heavens. No angels singing at the cross. No Father’s word of pleasure here. Nothing but a forsaken silence. Maybe you should sing this one on Good Friday. It was for that night that he came. Because of that night, now the silence is the devil’s, for he cannot accuse you any longer. Or, even if he tries, no one is paying attention. The Father’s ears are too busy listening to the risen Jesus plead for you. But, I digress.
If you’d like a healthy corrective to this song, check out Jill Phillips sing “Labour of Love” on the phenomenal Behold the Lamb of God album by Andrew Peterson. Her first line:
“It was not a silent night,
There was blood on the ground.
You could hear a woman cry,
In the alley-way that night,
On the streets of David’s town.”
Look, I am not trying to be a Scrooge here. Perhaps the three spirits of Dickens will visit me in a dream and I will awake with a new, happy list for you: One with songs of comfort and joy; songs of truth and beauty; songs of angels, shepherds, and stars; songs of orthodoxy; songs of Jesus. Until then, a merry Christmas to all!!