The Best Christmas Song Ever

by - December 03, 2018

Today I'm sharing something a little different, in light of the holiday season that is here!

I want to talk to you about my favourite Christmas song of all time. It's not in the top ten most sung songs, and it probably isn't the one you're thinking of right now. Although if you guessed "O Holy Night", it is a close second!

The song is "Mary, Did You Know?", specifically the Pentatonix rendition. If you haven't heard it yet, please take a listen. I promise it's very beautiful, and even if it isn't your cup of tea, you can come back here where I will tell you why I think it's one of the best Christmas songs of all time.

It's not just the voices and the melody that make a song amazing, but the words. What are the messages in this song that impact me every time I hear it? Or better yet, what are the truths sung in this song that brings so much hope, love and adoration?

Here are the 3 main, yet incredibly powerful truths found in "Mary, Did You Know?"

The Truth of the Humanity & Divinity of Christ

The song is sung to Mary, the mother of Jesus. And throughout the entire song, she is asked all these questions that do two things consistently.

1) Recognize the humanity of Christ
2) Recognize the Divinity of Christ

Repeatedly the song refers to Jesus as Mary's "baby boy", her "little baby", and "sleeping child". When you first hold a baby, one is usually struck with how real and alive this little bundle is. This song repeatedly reminds us that Jesus was very real and very human. So human that he experienced the full life of a human being, starting with conception and birth.

With every mention of Mary's "baby boy", we are introduced to the divinity of Christ. The fact that he can "walk on water", and "give sight to a blind man" or "calm the storms with his hand" all point to the divine power of Christ. These miracles performed by Jesus authenticated his claim to be God, and also demonstrates, in part, the Trinity and unity of Christ and his Heavenly Father.

This crucial part of Jesus's identity has been mocked, ridiculed, questioned and doubted since his birth and till this day. He is both a man and God, just as he claimed, and this song makes a point of it with this line of questioning. It even states it quite poignantly: "Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?" This is a beautiful and powerful truth.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

The Truth of the Role of the Saviour

God's plan to save and redeem the lost though Jesus' sacrifice, death and resurrection, was planned even before creation. God knew it was the only thing that could save us from eternal separation from him. This song reminds us why Jesus came. To "save our sons and daughters", to be "Heaven's perfect lamb" of sacrifice who would "delivery you" from the punishment of sin.

Christmas is the most marketed and socially celebrated holiday, even though Christmas is nothing more than the opening scene for Easter. Yes, it was a historical moment when God's son came down in human form, but it is ultimately what happened at the end of his life on earth that changed the world.

I love "Away in a Manger" as much as anyone else, but to have a Christmas song that points to Easter just brings the whole manger scene into perspective. The phrases I quoted above point to the Gospel, the reason Jesus came in the first place. To be the lamb that would take on the sins of the world, to take the punishment we deserve.

But he doesn't just die. He is raised, and he is victorious. "Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?". This points to the second coming. Not just Christ the son of God, not just the sacrificial lamb, but Christ the victorious King who will end the reign of evil and rule the world in everlasting peace.

"...for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

The Truth of the Sovereignty of God

Now we get to the part of the song that has me break down into silent tears because I simply can never seem to speak the words whose truth is so powerful it overwhelms me.

With everything the song touches on and reveals about who Jesus Christ is, it essentially builds up to this over-reigning truth of who GOD is.

"[Mary did you know] That sleeping child you're holding is the great I AM?"

This concluding phrase is a reference to Exodus 3:14,15.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.”’ God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD [that is, Yahweh!], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”

John Piper, in his sermon series of "Hallowed be Thy Name", speaks of this passage:

"There aren’t any words more important than these. Any words that you think might be are important only because these words are true. The more you ponder them, the more awesome they become."

I am who I am. It seems so simple. Yet, if you expand on what this means, what God is revealing about himself, it is nothing short of awesome. In every sense of the word. So what does this mean?

God is. God IS.

Descartes coined the famous philosophical idea "I think, therefore I am." But God simply IS. He is not created. He always was, always is, and always will be. There is nothing more real than him. Yet, how often do we live our lives with this at the center of our reality? Do we talk to him? Cry to him? Listen to him? Pray in earnest to him? Is our relationship with him as real as the ones we have with the rest of the people in our circle?

God is who he is. He is constant and unchanging. He is alpha and omega. No matter what we think of feel about him doesn't change who he is. This is what it really means to be God.

These three powerful and essential truths is what moves my heart, lifts my soul, and humbles me to my knees every time I hear "Mary, Did You Know?", and this is why it is my favourite Christmas song ever! And Pentatonix does an amazing job of using harmonies of their voices to emit an attitude of awe and exaltation. It's worth giving another listen, don't you think?

Have you realized these truths in "Mary Did You Know?" before? What is one of your favourite Christmas songs? Let me know in the comments below! 

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