I love Christmas carols! This year, in particular, they have become source of renewed wonder and hope—“light”—in an especially dreary and weary world. These carols serve to remind me of the incomparable grandeur of redemptive history which finds it’s perfect fulfillment in the person and work of Christ. But too often, we don’t seize the opportunity to instruct our children on the theological richness of these carols.
This does not need to be overly complicated, especially with younger children. It can be as simple as examining a carol together, looking for three theological “benchmarks” that highlight the person and work of Christ.
Jesus, Son of God and fully God, yet came to earth by taking on human flesh as a helpless baby. The long-expected Savior, born of a virgin in Bethlehem. (John 1:1, 14; Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2)
offspring of the Virgin's womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th'incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel. (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing)
Jesus, the Lamb of God, who came to die upon the cross, bearing God’s just wrath on behalf of His sinful people so that we would be reconciled to God. (John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:13)
From depths of hell thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave. (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)
Jesus now reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus will appear again to judge the world and establish His perfect kingdom where His people will live forever with Him. (Luke 1:32-33; Matthew 25:31-34, 41,46)
Born a child and yet a king
Born to reign in us forever
Now thy gracious kingdom bring (Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus)
So take a few minutes this Christmas to sit down with your children and help them look for and discover the rich and wonder meaning of the manger, the cross, and the throne. And don’t forget to emphasize what these discoveries are meant to inspire and produce in our hearts,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!