Why is it that we only sing some of the verses of the great Christmas carols when often it’s the latter verses where the richest theological truths are found?
Take for example: “Joy to the World.” If we just sing the first stanza, we’re missing a huge part of the Christmas story: that Jesus came not only for the personal salvation of individuals, but to renew the whole world and do away with all sin, evil, and suffering. “No more let sins and sorrows grow, / Nor thorns infest the ground.” The hymn writer Isaac Watts is taking us back to the fall in the garden, claiming that the curse is to be overturned in Christ. He continues that / He comes to make his blessings flow / Far as the curse is found.” The redemptive work of Christ is as wide as the creation and the fall itself.
So sing all of the carols, and read through the lyrics too. It’s one of the best ways to experience this season. For ThePointRadio.org, I’m John Stonestreet.