lamentable christmas carols

Yes, there are many lamentable Christmas songs and carols (“Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” anyone?). Too many to mention. Nonetheless, since ’tis the season, and we’re subject to carols at every corner, I’m going to avail myself of the opportunity to complain a little.

Perhaps my biggest gripe is with the common tendency for Christmas carols to portray Jesus as an eternal baby, as exemplified in the following:

O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us to-day.

Or perhaps,

O Jesus, dearest babe of all
And dearest babe of mine,
Thy love is great, thy limbs are small
O flood this heart of mine
With overflow from thine!

And, of course, the carol we love to hate, from which I sample the following words:

The cattle are lowing
The Baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes

I know some people try and justify this by saying that it was possible that on one occasion Jesus awoke and didn’t cry. But the impression the words of the carol give is that Jesus was exceptional in his behaviour at this point. I’m personally of the belief that Jesus, as a baby, cried. But as I said, I find the whole thing irritating!

So I hope you’ve all had a holy Christmas and managed to enjoy singing worthwhile songs in praise of God’s incarnation!

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