Top 3 Christmas Hymns That Mean the Most to Me
Top 3 Christmas Hymns That Mean the Most to Me
Vivian Bricker Contributing Writer
On the night Jesus was born, it was truly a holy night and there will never be another night like it in the future.
Most people start listening to Christmas hymns and songs during Thanksgiving, or the day after. If you are like a certain friend of mine, maybe you start listening to Christmas hymns right after Halloween. Whether you prefer to listen to Christmas hymns and songs after Thanksgiving, only during the week of Christmas, or throughout the year, I won’t judge. I personally love Christmas hymns, so I wanted to share the top three Christian hymns that mean the most to me:
1. Silent Night
The hymn Silent Night was written in 1818 by Joseph Mohr and composed by Franz Xaver Gruber in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria (“Top 20 Christian Christmas Carols and Hymns of All Time,” Share Faith, 2016). Silent Night was officially published in 1838; however, this hymn still lives on in the heart of Christmas celebrations across the world in many different languages.
The hymn Silent Night is meaningful to me because it reminds me of the peacefulness of knowing Christ. The lyrics of Silent Night paint the story of the night Jesus was born into the world. It is beautifully written and the accompanying tune brings peace to my soul. Maybe this hymn does the same for you. The lyrics “Glories streams from heaven afar//Heavenly hosts sing, alleluia//Christ the savior is born, he's born//Christ the savior is born” bring tranquility into my bones that no other Christmas hymn can, reminding us of the greatness of Jesus being born into the world to redeem us from our sins. Just as the hymn includes, the “Glories streams from heaven afar” ring true. Jesus left Heaven in order to provide redemption. His beauty, majesty, and glory came down from Heaven in order to die for our sins. Why? Because of the immense love God has for us (Romans 5:8). I hope the next time you hear Silent Night it will remind you of the Savior’s birth, provide calmness to your soul, and fill your heart with joy just as it does to mine each time I hear this wonderful hymn.
2. O Holy Night
O Holy Night is a hymn that was written by Adolphe Charles Adam in 1847 (“Top 20 Christian Christmas Carols and Hymns of All Time,” Share Faith, 2016). Yes, this is another hymn written almost two-hundred years ago, but it is still a personal favorite of mine.
O Holy Night means a great deal to me because this hymn attests to the majesty and divinity of Christ. Each time when the lyrics of “Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices! O night divine! O night when Christ was born” are sung and the instruments are played, I have a chill go through my bones. These lyrics are mighty and awe inspiring. We can truly stand in awe of our Savior when we hear this hymn. In O Holy Night, the powerful angels are told to fall on their knees in worship of the birth of the Savior of the world. Just like the angels fall down in worship, this hymn reminds us to worship Jesus. On the night Jesus was born, it was truly a holy night and there will never be another night like it in the future.
O Holy Night is also impactful to me because it calls us to love one another. The hymn reads, “Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is Love and His gospel is Peace.” These lyrics attest to the love Jesus wants us to extend to others. Jesus gives us the command to love others as He says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Moreover, this song reminds us Jesus’ law is love, not obeying the Mosaic Law. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law as Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 5:17). Jesus commands us to love others as He loves us. He does not command us to obey the Mosaic Law today. Jesus’ law is truly love and His Gospel is peace. When one places faith in Christ, the individual is given the peace of Christ. We no longer have to strive after our own salvation as no amount of good works can save a person (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings love and peace into our lives because placing faith in Jesus provides forgiveness, redemption, and eternal life with God forever. There have been many adaptations of O Holy Night over the years, yet each version still brings forth the wonderful story of the night of Jesus’ birth. O Holy Night is also meaningful to me because it reminds me of the majesty of the Lord and His greatness. The Lord can provide love and peace into our souls if we just turn to Him. In the midst of chaos, it can be hard to remember to turn to Christ, but it is specifically at the chaotic moments that we need Jesus’ love and peace to wash over our hearts, minds, and souls. Unlike so many Christmas songs in the present day, this hymn is focused on the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus. It seems to me that most of the Christmas songs today are focused on Santa Claus or are loved songs written about the songwriter’s lover. While these songs might be nice to listen to, the true meaning of Christmas is Jesus’ birth in the world. O Holy Night and Silent Night remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.
3. O Little Town of Bethlehem
A third hymn that is personally meaningful to me is O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillip Brooks. Phillip Brooks was an Episcopal priest who was inspired to write this hymn after visiting Bethlehem in 1865 (“Top 20 Christian Christmas Carols and Hymns of All Time,” Share Faith, 2016). Jesus’ birth is celebrated in this hymn and it keeps my mind focused on Him during the hectic time of the holidays. Stillness, calmness, and serenity seep out of this hymn as God is calling us to be still in Him (Psalm 46:10). Even though Bethlehem was a small and insignificant city at the time of Jesus’ birth in the world, God chose Bethlehem to be the place where His Son would be born. This hymn reminds me that God can take the smallest of His children and do great things through them in their lives. Quiet, silent, sweet Bethlehem became the birthplace of our great Savior and Lord. When you are singing this hymn this year, I hope it gives you the same peace it gives me.
Each of these three hymns that I selected are personally meaningful to me and my walk with the Lord. These three Christmas hymns are focused on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus’ birth into the world. Sadly, there are many Christmas songs in the world today that have nothing to do with Jesus. It is my hope and prayer that you will take time to listen to these hymns this year and experience the same peace, stillness, and joy that they give me. Hopefully, you have some Christmas hymns that you have fond memories with as well. Discovering new hymns is an adventure too! It is a great pleasure to be able to sing hymns about our Lord Jesus Christ—not only during the Christmas season, but praising Him all year long! Merry Christmas, everyone!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/RamilF
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is probably embarking on an adventure.