THE POWER OF CONTEXT: My 2 Favorite Christmas Songs

My two favorite Christmas songs are….






(honorable mention to “O Come All Ye Faithful”)


So many of our songs, Christmas and hymns, fall into the trap with many of us just knowing one verse and forgetting the power of context.

I have to think that Charles Wesley , when writing Hark the Herald, was thinking of the grand theme of the Salvation plan not just a one time holiday. And he needed to take a number of lines to create the thought and the emotion of the theme.


When I read a book, I read everything.

I read the introduction, the preface, even the footnotes

I even mark up footnotes in books.


Read it all and Listen to it all.


Context builds.  Context crescendos.

Don’t be cheated out and don’t cheapen the song.  To be interested only in the first verse and forget the rest is like leaving the baseball game in the first inning and thinking it’s over because you liked what you saw.  I want you to get in the habit of staying for the whole game and concentrating on all that is being said. 


You are missing out if you don’t stop at times and just read the lyrics without the music….all the lyrics.  It helps to grasp what is being said in totality.


Read O Holy Night’s and Hark the Herald’s second and third verse. They are so powerful.


In fact, I hope this inspires you to do this more.



O Holy Night


Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!



Hark the Herald, verse 2 says this…


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 the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”


Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”



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