As we get towards the end of November, it seems a good time to think about the songs we might want to use over the upcoming Christmas period. So I’ve tried to come up with an eclectic selection, with songs in five different categories. The categories are Classic, Concert, Carol, Contemporary Hymn, and Current. Hope I’m not stretching the alliteration too far 🙂
The Servant King (From Heaven You Came) – Classic
Graham Kendrick’s most popular Christmas song, The Servant King. It’s been around for a while now, having been written in 1983, and may have been forgotten by some. But it’s well worth bringing out again with its rich imagery around both the birth and death of Christ.
Celebrate the Child – Concert
Official Michael Card version, and I’ve called this a Concert song only because I often think it sounds best when performed from the front, rather than as a congregationally sung piece. Michael Card here touches poetically on the heart of the incarnation.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Carol
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without at least some of the old carols. And is there a better one than Charles Wesley’s wonderful Hark the Herald Angels Sing? Written around 1739, soon after his conversion, it is perhaps the hymn carol most guaranteed to thrill our hearts as we join in the heavenly worship of King Jesus.
Joy Has Dawned – Contemporary Hymn
We come a little more up-to-date with this lovely 21st-century offering, written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty in 2004. As we might expect from the most popular of modern hymn writers, this is rich in theological truth, turning the Christmas story into an opportunity for out and out worship and praise!
The King Became Homeless – Current
Written just before Christmas 2020, we come right up to date with this beautiful new song from Andy Shelton, Worship Pastor at St Mark’s Coventry, my son’s church. This is a song for now, bringing the reality of Christ’s incarnation to the millions of homeless or displaced of today’s fallen world, together with the wonderful hope that can only come from a knowledge of Jesus. Also just a great worship song!
For Good Measure
Finally, we shouldn’t forget songs which are partially about Christmas. Maybe including just one verse, or a key couple of lines that refer to the incarnation. Great examples are In Christ Alone, Light of the World, and Hillsong’s King of Kings. These fantastic worship songs can easily be added in alongside more obviously Christmassy songs and carols.