I love Christmas carols and the wondrous message they convey in a few short words. This year I decided to send you Christmas greetings by taking those carols and creating a somewhat continuous story of the birth of Jesus. I hope you recognize and enjoy the tunes I used.
The Christmas Story
O come, thou branch of Jesse’s tree, and free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust thy mighty power to save, and give them victory o’er the grave.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in they dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.
Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.
For Christ is born of Mary, and, gathered all above
while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wond'ring love.
Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, Hail, incarnate deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.
From God our heavenly Father a blessed angel came,
and unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king!
Peace on earth and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.”
The shepherds at those tidings rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding, in tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway this blessed babe to find.
Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous songs prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heavenly song?
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king;
let ev'ry heart prepare him room and heav'n and nature sing,
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye o come ye to Bethlehem.
Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing.
Come adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, our newborn king.
Away in a Manger, no crib for His bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky look down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, here come the wise men from Orient land.
They looked up and saw a star, shining in the East, beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light, And so it continued both day and night.
We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar – field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.
Led by the light of faith, serenely beaming, with glowing hearts by his cradle we stand.
Then entered in the wise men three, full reverently on bended knee,
And offered there in His presence, their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today!
And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men!”
For lo, the days are hastening on, by prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever circling years, Comes round the age of gold:
When peace shall over all the earth it’s ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song which now the angels sing.
(Angels We have Heard on High), (Away in a Manger), (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing),
(I Heard the Bells), (It Came Upon the Midnight Clear), (Joy to the World), (O Come All Ye Faithful), (O Come, O Come Emmanuel), (O Holy Night), (O Little Town of Bethlehem), (Silent Night), (The First Noel), (We Three Kings)