Question Tuesday: Advent: “Here Comes the Sun”

Or, “here comes the Son.” You know, whichever. See, my dear friend, Christine recently posited in her post “5 Christmas Songs You Should Be Singing, but Aren’t” over at Thinking through Christianity:

Okay, I know [“Here Comes the Sun”] isn’t technically a Christmas song, and some people at your church would look at you really strangely if you started playing this on Sunday morning, but the theme of this song is what Advent is all about — I mean, people have been using images of light shining in the darkness as metaphors for the Messiah for a long time. Just check out this passage from Isaiah 9:

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy…
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…
To which, I joyously respond, “Sun, sun, sun, here it comes!”

 

To all of which I say amen! And it got me thinking, What other “non-Christmas” songs champion themes of Christmas? themes of the hope and joy and peace which we recognize finds fulfillment only in Christ.

Two that come to my mind are “I Hope” by the Dixie Chicks and “Imagine” by John Lennon… politically charged and religiously disenchanted as both those examples happen to be.

I’m sure you all can come up with much, much more. Hit me up in the comments.

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4 Responses to Question Tuesday: Advent: “Here Comes the Sun”

  1. Christine says:

    A few non-Christmas songs that make it onto my Christmas playlist each year (beside “Here Comes the Sun”) are:
    “I saw the Light” — I like to think of it as the wisemen singing
    “Make a Joyful Noise” by David Crowder — based on Psalm 98, the same Psalm on which “Joy to the World” is based
    “Hey Jude” — just feels like Christmas to me
    “Waiting on the world to change” by John Mayer — the only time I can make this song “work” is in context of Messianic longing. Plus, the album, Continuum was a gift from the husband on our first Christmas as a married couple, so it has added sentimental value.

  2. justin t. says:

    How exactly do you reconcile “Imagine” as being related to Christmas when the lyrics are basically the polar opposite? “Imagine no religion, it’s easy if you try, no Hell below us, Above us only sky.”

    • reneamac says:

      I’m very sympathetic to wishing for a reality with no Hell. I’m even sympathetic to wanting to imagine a reality with no Heaven for those with a skewed view of Heaven. More to the point, Christ was unsympathetic toward the kind of religion that Lennon seems to be lamenting. And when Christ comes again to right all wrongs, there will indeed be no need for religion as we know it.

      Nonetheless, we recognize of course, that such imagining is a false hope, a shadow. The other two-thirds of the song, however, get us quite a bit closer to a vision of the Kingdom:

      Imagine there’s no countries
      It isn’t hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people living life in peace

      […]

      Imagine no possessions
      I wonder if you can
      No need for greed or hunger
      A brotherhood of man
      Imagine all the people sharing all the world

      Still, without Christ, even this is but a shadow. But we recognize the Image-bearing impulse of the human heart and connect it to Christ when we can.

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