“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation” (Psa. 95:1). It is as natural for God’s people to sing as it is for the birds! Other religions have plaintive chants or mantras, but in these there is no praise, rejoicing and no heart-stirring, spirit-lifting melodies. Christianity is the only religion in which singing plays such a prominent role. This is so because Christianity alone holds out the joyous message of hope that rests in the coming of a Messiah and in the gift of salvation through His accomplishment on the cross.
The songs telling of the birth of Jesus, now heard everywhere at this season, bear this out. Of all the Christian music out there – and there are uncounted psalms, hymns and spiritual songs – there is none more beautiful than the music of the Christmas season. The reason for this ought to be obvious to any thoughtful person. The coming of the son of God is the most significant, most joyously celebrated event in human history. His coming, heralded by angels and welcomed by shepherds, was the arrival of the long awaited Messiah, or King, who would take away the sins of the world. His coming was the beginning of the new world, the new creation in which we now participate, which will be finally and fully realized at His second coming.
Below is a link to a uniquely interwoven rendering of two traditional Christmas songs – one, a hymn that was not originally written as a Christmas song at all and one that is not a religious song at all. Isaac Watts wrote “Joy to the World” as a hymn glorifying Christ’s triumphant return at the end of the age, rather than a song celebrating His first coming (Wikipedia). “Deck the Halls” is not a religious song, but combined with “Joy,” underscores the celebratory nature of the season.
These songs are performed by Sissel Kyrkjebø, a Norwegian soprano with a crystal clear voice. Wikipedia says that this talented lady “… is considered one of the world’s top crossover sopranos. Sissel’s musical style runs the gamut from pop recordings and folk songs, to classical vocals and operatic arias.” I have recently become acquainted with this amazing performer via YouTube. I hope you enjoy her performance as much as I do.