This may surprise you as much as it surprised me, but this is probably the oldest carol in the bunch. I haven't studied them all yet, but this one was believed to be written (in Latin) in 1328! I think that is one of the things that I love the most about Christmas carols-how enduring they are. They have united people in the shared language of music for centuries, and I hope that tradition continues. This is one of my top five favorite carols, (its really hard to choose just one favorite!) and so it makes me happy to know that it has stood the test of time. I hope that if Jesus hasn't returned by then, that people are still singing it in 700 years!
Lyrics: "Good Christian Men, Rejoice"
The Baptist Hymnal (1991): #96
Questions for thought and discussion:
1. What do you think: do we "rejoice" because we are "good Christian men (and women)" or are we good Christians because we rejoice? Maybe both?
2. The verses from Acts are quoted about Christ, but they can also be applied to Christians. Isn't it lovely to think that there are Scriptures that talk about Christ, but also about us? It makes me rejoice that through Christ's sacrifice I am worthy of so many wonderful blessings! What are some of the things that make you rejoice about your salvation?
3. We "need not fear the grave" according to the song, and Hebrews 2:15 tells us that Christ has freed us from the slavery that the fear of death has over us. Does that mean it is wrong to be afraid of dying? Why do you think that so many have such great anxiety when it comes to death? How can we conquer that fear through Christ?