Christmas Sunday Song Selection

Silent Night, Away in a Manger, O Holy Night, O Come All Ye Faithful!   All of these are wonderful songs, many of which we wait until after Thanksgiving to sing.  Alas!  Christmas arrives, and we sing them heartily, as well we should!

As you well-known this Sunday is what is commonly called, “Christmas Sunday.”  Christmas Sunday is the final Sunday before Christmas and is usually characterized by higher church attendance and the year’s strongest emphasis on the birth of Christ. For pastors it is one of the most anticipated sermons of the year.  For church musicians and vocalists it is a highly-anticipated day when many of our favorites are sung and played.   The two great questions for those in the Lord’s work are not, “What will I get for Christmas?” or “What shall I make for the family dinner?” but rather, “What in the world am I going to preach on Sunday,” and, “What am I going to sing on Christmas?”

Well do I remember my pastor teaching me that song selection is 75% of singing.  Finding the right song for the right voices at the right time is an equation that makes for a powerful presentation of truth. What, then, is the most appropriate song selection for “Christmas Sunday?”

The Bible says in I Corinthians chapter one and verse twenty-three, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.”  And again in verse eighteen, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

The world, by and large (including the religious world), is not offended by the babe in the manger but the Man on the cross.  Christmas is a wonderful time of year to progress men and women, boys and girls, young and old, saved and lost, from the cradle to the cross.  Sing of Bethlehem!  Sing of the manger!  Join the heavenly hosts in praising God and saying, “Glory to God!” Think of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men, but go further!  The Baby came to die!  The Lamb came as a sacrifice for our sins!

Paint on musical canvas the humiliation of Bethlehem and incarnation, as well as the humiliation of Calvary.   Sing “Down from His Glory” and “Up from the grave He arose!”  Make much of the entire story of Jesus!

In addition to using thoroughly traditional Christmas carols challenge yourself to find at least one hymn that speaks of the entire story of Jesus.

For example,

AND CAN IT BE

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

or

ONE DAY

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my example is He!

Refrain:
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He’s coming—oh, glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!

Songs such as these give us the full prism of gospel light.

The following hymns also include allusion to Bethlehem;

  • “Tell Me the Story of Jesus”
  • “Isn’t the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful”
  • “Now I Belong to Jesus”
  •  “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story”

As you plan, practice, prepare and pray for Sunday please remember Calvary!  Take that record crowd on a trip…the trip of a lifetime!  Lead them on a journey from the exaltation of Christ in the Glory world to the gory of Bethlehem…from the groans of Calvary to the glorified Saviour risen and coming again!

You cannot have Easter without Christmas (the birth of the Saviour), seeing that you must have the coming of the Mediator in flesh to fulfill the righteous demands of God’s law, nor can you have Christmas without Easter, seeing that the resurrection of Christ is the necessary accomplishment of Christ in giving us eternal life.  Without the resurrection of the God-man the life of Jesus Christ was a waste!  He came; He lived; He died; He was buried; He arose; He commissioned; He ascended; He promised return; He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas!  May the music that fills your church and mine be greatly blessed and used this Lord’s day as we remember Calvary.  Selah!

One thought on “Christmas Sunday Song Selection

  1. My favorite of all the songs I have heard you sing andddd is appropriate for Christmas to me, is the one you sang at my awards night, the solo about our King.
    Yvonne

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