Teaching Rich Truths Through Christmas Carols

Recently, I listened as children from our church practiced singing for their Christmas program. I was delighted as the director carefully explained, stanza by stanza, the meaning of the words of a familiar Christmas carol. As a young child, I remember memorizing this carol with ease, but I had no clue what many of the words meant. Unfortunately, that was true for most of the Christmas carols I sang. For example, what did these verses mean?

“And makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness” (Joy to the World)

“O come, Thou Rod of Jesse,” (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)

“Hail th’incarnate Deity,” (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)

These words convey big biblical truths. If our children are to worship God in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), they need at least some knowledge and understanding of the truth. It is our responsibility to explain these truths with increasing depth as our children grow and mature.

This Advent season provides a great opportunity to help your children learn the theological richness of great Christmas carols. Wonderful family traditions and memories can be fostered by not only singing these carols together, but also by exploring their meaning. It can be as simple as choosing a carol or two a week, printing the words, reading each stanza, defining unfamiliar words, explaining the biblical truths conveyed, and then singing the carol together.

A really helpful resource for families that I highly recommend is: Christmas Carols for a Kid’s Heart (Volume 3 of the Hymns for a Kid’s Heart series).

You could also use these three short Christmas carol devotionals offered by Ligonier Ministries:

Joy to the World

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

Don’t waste your Christmas carols this year!

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Truth78.

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