On a cold Christmas Eve in Belgium in 1914, the sound of singing floated from the trenches where soldiers were dug in. Strains of the carol “Silent Night” rang out in German and then in English. Soldiers who earlier in the day had been shooting at each other laid down their weapons and emerged from their trenches to shake hands in the “no man’s land” between them, exchanging Christmas greetings and spontaneous gifts from their rations. The ceasefire continued through the next day as the soldiers talked and laughed and even organized soccer matches together.

For years, Christmas carols have been an intrinsic part of Christmas celebrations across the world. Let’s explore the significance of a few much-loved classic Christmas carols.

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3

‘Silent Night’ is such a familiar carol during Christmas, especially with the first stanza keeping us spellbound. We imagine the beautiful scene of the birth of Christ, when the baby is at peace and all is quiet.

What an awesome sight it must’ve been as glories streamed from Heaven afar. The angels were singing praises to God and declaring peace to men. However, this terrified the shepherds! The angel reassured them and told them not to be afraid.

This carol brings us the message that Jesus Christ is our Lord and the Son of God. His holiness and love is described as “love’s pure light”. The phrase “dawn of redeeming grace” helps us to understand that the grace of God reaches us through Christ – to save us from our sins and death.

The coming of Christ is also the arrival of God’s healing light. With Christ, came God’s abundant grace. In Christ, the grace of God appeared and offered salvation to all. Even then, only those who receive Jesus and believe in His name will be saved and be called the children of God.

We are reminded that God sent His only begotten Son to earth below. God blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. When Jesus embraces mankind, we receive God’s reconciling love as He offers forgiveness to every prodigal sinner who has strayed away from His fatherly love.

Finally, ‘Silent Night’ closes with Jesus as God’s promise for peace. Through Jesus, we have peace with God, peace within us, and peace among ourselves. Mindful of mankind’s plight, God has acted decisively to free us all from our earthly woes and bring healing and peace where it is greatly needed.

What a precious gospel! What a precious birth! What precious peace we have been given!

Jesus, you are love’s pure light. You are God’s abundant grace which saves us from our sins and gives us salvation. Indeed, we are children of God because of You.