Christmas Carol Countdown | No.10 – In the Bleak Midwinter

Today’s devotional is by Carole Townley.
 
"This carol was composed by English poet, Christina Rossetti, and published under the title ‘A Christmas Carol’ in January 1872. Gustav Holst then set the words to music in 1906, followed by Harold Darke’s more complex composition in 1911. This latter version was named ‘Best Christmas Carol’ in a 2008 poll of some of the world’s leading choirmasters and choral experts.
 
It was only as I started to write this devotional that I discovered there are actually five verses in the carol, rather than the four that are commonly sung.

Read more: Christmas Carol Countdown | No.10 – In the Bleak Midwinter

Christmas Carol Countdown | No.12 – O Come All Ye Faithful

Today’s devotional is by Alison Kernohan 

My favourite Christmas carol is ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’. The wonderful melody and richness of the lyrics bring back such warm memories of singing it in church as a child and carol singing door-to-door.

The carol was written in the 18th century and is one of the most well-known and popular Christmas carols even to this day. When we sing carols year after year, it can be easy to become familiar with the lyrics, but if we take time to look more closely at the words we’re singing, we can discover great and powerful truths that inspire and encourage us to lift up our gaze and focus on God, His holiness and His sacrifice.

Read more: Christmas Carol Countdown | No.12 – O Come All Ye Faithful

Christmas Carol Countdown | No.11 – Angels We Have Heard On High

Today’s devotional is by Becky Watson

One thing I find very interesting about this hymn is how, while singing, we jump from being the watcher of the Christmas story to being the angels singing of Christ’s birth. We get to play a part in the Christmas story!

Originally a French carol - “Les Anges dans nos Campagnes” (‘The Angels in the Countryside’) - the carol tells of the shepherds being visited by angels. Most of us know the story; shepherds sat in the fields with their flocks, their duty to guide and protect their sheep. Then, suddenly, an angel appeared to them and told them of Christ’s birth. Luke writes, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’ ” - Luke 2:13-14 (ESV)

Read more: Christmas Carol Countdown | No.11 – Angels We Have Heard On High

Christmas Carol Countdown | No.13 – God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman

Today’s devotional is by Rachel Dobson

In a very joyful and upbeat carol, which encapsulates the excitement and hope of the Christmas story, we are encouraged not to ‘dismay’ but to remember Christ our Saviour. It is a call which is as relevant today as it was when the carol was published in the 18th century, although earlier versions predate this. 

Read more: Christmas Carol Countdown | No.13 – God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman