Music can be a powerful tool to reinforce a message. For example, just think about all the advertising jingles you still remember. “My bologna has first name, it’s…”; or “Give me a break! Give me a break! Break me off a piece of that…”; “Ace is the place with the helpful…” My guess is that you filled in the rest—especially if you’re over a certain age.
And many of you can also probably recite the lyrics to popular television theme songs like Gilligan’s Islands, The Brady Bunch, or The Flintstones (again showing my age). Not to mention all the popular music that you listened to growing up. It’s funny how twenty, thirty, and even forty years later, we can still remember the lyrics to some of our favorite songs.
But we find there’s more to it than just remembering lyrics. There’s a memory attached to those lyrics that draws you back to a moment in time. Music helps us remember. It leaves an indelible impression on our minds and emotions—especially when listened to repeatedly.
Christmas music is this way. It nostalgically draws our minds back each year to Christmases long since passed. But Christmas carols—specifically Christian carols—can provide another very important function in that they tell the story of the nativity and explain what happened around the birth of Jesus Christ. When many of the classic carols were created, not everyone was educated and could read the Bible. These hymns were essential in spreading the gospel message and helping people learn about the good news of Jesus Christ.
Today, these hymns have become so ingrained in our culture and ubiquitous with holiday celebrations that millions of people around the world joyfully sing them out, over and over again, each year. Some of the richest theological truths about the birth of our Savior are being expressed by believers and nonbelievers alike in homes, churches, stores, cars, fitness centers, the media, and more!
It’s hard to find a better evangelistic outreach tool than a Christmas carol that expresses the joy, devotion, and awe-inspiring scenes of the birth of Christ.
For years, I’ve wanted to write the book that I’m excited to share with you today, The Carols of Christmas. However, I was torn about how best to present it. Should I focus on one hymn over the course of the Christmas season or choose a different song each day? Should it be a Bible study or an Advent devotional format?
So, I set out to do the best research I could, fully realizing that there are discrepancies found in the stories of hymns, which are well over one hundred years old. Then, to dig a little deeper into the biblical basis for each one, finally I divided my work into four weeks of daily devotions for Christmas. You start each week reading the history of the carol, followed by six daily Advent devotions.
When finished, I sent the book to my most trusted group of advisors—the Brown Chair Books Review Team. Their response has been an overwhelming approval of the format and the content! I’m so grateful for their dedication to helping improve my work.
If you want to see a sample of the book, you can check it out here. Or…if you’re game, I thought I might offer you something better!
Over the next four weeks leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, I’m going to share four new devotions based on the Christmas hymns found in the book. This will be all new material that’s not included in the book. Hopefully, it will give you a taste of what to expect if you choose to purchase it for yourself or a friend. Plus, I really enjoy writing them!
Thank you again for having purchased one of my books in the past. I sincerely hope this book will be a blessing to many this Christmas season.