The First Noël, a truly great Christmas hymn.

Every year I hear countless complaints about the bad theology of many Christmas carols. It is true, many of them do relay information not even dreamed of in the Gospels of Luke or Matthew. However, this week I have been reflecting on just how important, bad theology and all, our Christmas carols are for retelling the story of ‘God with us’ at Christmas. In a world that is Jesus saturated and biblically illiterate (as BW3 would say) the Christian carols are probably the greatest witness we have to the incarnation. Year after year people of all persuasions and beliefs belt out these tunes with no idea what they are singing. Nevertheless the gospel is preached; albeit it subtly.

In light of my musings this past week I am curious to find out what people’s favourite Christmas carols are. I am a big fan of ‘Silent Night’ (Speaking of bad theology) & ‘Come all ye faithful’. However, it is the old English hymn ‘The First Noël’ that captures my heart and mind year after year. When sung well it evokes in me faith and appreciation for all Christ has done. Furthermore, as I read through the words I find very little to disagree with. The two Gospel birth narratives are retold poetically and simply.

So, what are your favourite Christmas carols?