Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

What puts a song in your heart?

Your favorite playlist?
Your wedding song?
Christmas carols?

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is the music. You may be tired of hearing Christmas carols that have already been playing since Halloween. For many of us – especially those working in retail stores – the joy of those carols has dissipated daily until we have nothing left by December 25th.

But Christmas carols can provide more than mere distraction and entertainment. They communicate spiritual truths in wonderfully memorable ways. If you’re like me, you may have a difficult time with memorization, including memorizing Scripture verses. But if you know the words to many familiar Christmas carols, you probably have more Bible verses memorized or paraphrased than you think!


For example, consider the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” originally written by Charles Wesley. Before you groan at the thought of listening to yet another Christmas carol, look at the words as if for the first time…

  • Hark! the herald angels sing
    “Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God” (Luke 2:13).
  • Glory to the newborn King
    “Glory to God in the highest…” (Luke 2:14).
  • peace on earth
    “…and on earth peace…” (Luke 2:14).
  • , and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!
    “…to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
  • Joyful, all ye nations rise,  join the triumph of the skies
    “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
  • with the angelic host proclaim
    “Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God” (Luke 2:13).
  • Christ is born in Bethlehem!
    “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
  • Hark! the herald angels sing
    “Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God” (Luke 2:13).
  • Glory to the new born King!
    “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2).

Enjoy the carols of Christmas. And while you’re at it, enjoy the amount of Scripture that you didn’t know you knew!   🙂

Pick your favorite Christmas carol – how many Bible verses can you identify in its lyrics?


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  1. Dave Green

    Great post about this great hymn by Charles Wesley. We Methodists don’t write long, dusty tomes on theology. Ever since Wesley’s day, we SING our theology!

    Most people wouldn’t think of Charles Wesley as a great Biblical scholar, but he was.

    I love the way you laid out the parallels.

  2. admin

    Thank you, Dave. The great thing about singing theology is that it’s so much easier to remember!

  3. Carol Castagna

    Lovely post…
    Since music is our universal language in so many ways, this post brings to light the derivation of each song. Thank you, Ava, for such a meaningful post during the Christmas season.

    Carole Castagna

  4. admin

    Thank you, Carole! Hope you have a beautiful Christmas!

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