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Summary: Carols are an expression of joy that resides in our hearts, with a rhythm of God’s love, a radiance of God’s glory, surrounded by His caring arms, and gift wrapped in His plan for us.

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Dr. Tom Doubt, Senior Pastor Four Mile Creek Baptist Church

Richmond, VA

December 21, 2003

WHY SING CAROLS?

Psalm 138

BACKGROUND:

A. On these Sundays prior to Christmas we have been looking at the “C”s found in Christmas.

1. First “C” was the Coming, the prophecy that a shoot from Jesse would stir hope (Isaiah 11).

2. The second “C” was Christ, the radiance God’s glory that fills us with expectation (Hebrews 1).

3. The third “C” involved the Cost of Christmas that was covered by the Calvary payment plan, a plan that evokes sorrow & relief (Luke 2).

4. Now a few days before celebration of Christmas our emotional bucket is full. We want to sing out, so what do we sing? Carols.

a. Why not just call them songs, hymns, doxologies, melody?

b. Carol is defined as song of joy

c. So at Christmas we sing Joy To The World (sing the first verse).

B. All carols have scriptural basis

1. Joy To The World finds its theme in Psalm 98:4-6 which tells us to shout for joy to Lord, all earth. We are to burst into jubilant song; to shout for joy before Lord, the King.

2. Other Psalms express similar joy thru singing. One of those, Psalm 138, provides revelation for our joy in the Christmas season.

Read PSALM 138

INTRODUCTION:

A. Have you ever noticed the words we use to express delight at Christmas?

1. “Merry” is one of those words, whose meaning is to be full of gaiety or hi spirits.

a. Saying “Merry Christmas” is to wish well to others.

b. We sing God Rest Merry Gentlemen

c. But there is no carol called “Merry To The World”

2. Happy is another word used at Christmas, meaning to enjoy well-being and contentment. We say “Happy New Year”, but we do not sing Happy Happy We Adore The.

a. The secular insists on using “Happy Holiday”, but it does not convey the sense of joy at Christmas.

b. I am not into Kwanza, Hanukkah, or Swirling Dervishes

c. But I am into Christmas and the joy it is intended to bring to all of us.

B. To understand why we sing carols, one needs to understand Biblical joy.

1. First, joy is defined as a feeling of happiness that comes from good fortune, or a sense well-being.

2. Think about it, what does Christmas mean?

a. The Coming of the Son God to rescue us: that’s our good fortune.

b. We worship the Christ who willing paid the Cost: that ought to give us a sense well-being.

3. So, the fourth “C” of Christmas is to sing about this joy as our CAROL. Here is a way to remember why CAROL’s express joy:

a. Christ’s

b. Arrival

c. Restores

d. Our

e. Life

C. Psalm 138 provides many reasons for our joy this Xmas season. Embedded in its 8 verses is the basis for caroling .

THEME: Christmas carols express our joy in:

Our hearts where God-given joy resides (v 1)

God’s love becomes the rhythm & beat of our carols (v 2)

God’s glory is the radiance of joy (v 5)

God’s care for us are the arms that surround our joy (v 6)

God’s plan for our lives is the wrapping every carol (v 8)

MESSAGE:

A. THE JOY TO SING CAROLS RESIDES IN OUR HEARTS

1. Praise Lord, in front everyone, sing from heart (v 1)

2. Voices united in joy send a message to the world

a. Come before Lord in joyful song (Ps 100:2)

b. Sing for joy, shout from mountain tops (Is 42:11)

3. Music from the heart resonates with joy

4. Let it rise from our hearts, let the joy resound as we sing one verse of Joyful Joyful We Adore You

Joyful joyful we adore You,

God of glory, Lord of light

Angels lifting praise before You,

Sing thru-out this holy night

In a manger lies a Baby,

Child of Mary, Son of God

Voices joined in joyful chorus,

Praise You for Your gift of love

B. GOD’S LOVE IS THE RHYTHM BEHIND EVERY CAROL.

1. We bow toward Lord’s holy temple in humble adoration (v 2)

a. Our carol of praise is for His love & faithfulness

b. God’s Name & His Word ought to be exalted

c. Not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.

2. Illustration: 6 y/o Nicolas’ kindergarten class was part of a school’s “Winter Pageant.” His class, decked in red sweaters & snow caps, was to sing “Christmas Love”

a. One by one, a child hold up their respective letter. The first kid held up a “C” as the class sang “C is for Christmas”

b. The song was going smoothly until they came to Nicolas. He had the letter “M”, but didn’t realize he was holding it upside down.

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