Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Carol Gospel - Intro

The Gospel According to (Christmas) Carol
I love love love traditional Christmas carols. My first, richest memories of carols reach back to the early 1960s in my elementary school. Way back then, we were allowed to celebrate Christmas in the schools. The Christmas pageant would begin with
Our Christmas card photo from 1966.
That's me in the red boots!
a procession of children in white smocks holding battery-powered candles and singing "Joy To The World". It was simply the most beautiful thing I knew.

Now, so many decades later, I appreciate the carols not just for their musical beauty, but also how completely they tell the whole Gospel – The Good News – of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. So, I've added the name Carol alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John… The Gospel According to Carol, Christmas Carol. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Over the next four weeks, as we approach Christmas Day, I'm going to share snippets from four carols that tell the Gospel in a powerful way. I hope you'll read and cherish each post in this series.

And I'm doing a little bootlegging to share with you the soundtrack of this Gospel. The group Acapella has a Christmas CD called, what else, Carols, that is required listening in our house over the Christmas season. I'll share their version of each carol. By way of honoring these fine voices (and to show I'm not a Christmas music pirate), I invite you to add their album to your music collection.

Just a couple more things… If you feel like you need a fresh wind of inspiration in your Christmas gift-giving experience, please visit This is our family's original idea that has given us wonderful Christmases for almost two decades now.

And… you might enjoy the Christmas-themed articles previously posted here at Follow Illustrated:

The Day I Discovered My Mom Had Given Me Syphilis (yes, it's really about Christmas)

If you're new to the Follow Illustrated blog, well… first let me welcome you and say "Thanks for dropping by." I am Clark H Smith. I'm a sometimes-pastor, a chaplain, a writer, but most importantly I am the husband of one beautiful wife and the father of four dandy boys. This blog is my effort to write out some of the things that rumble around in my head, specifically illustrations about what it means to follow Jesus. I hope you'll dig through the archives and find more inspiration to follow Jesus closely. And if you're a dad, too, have I got a blog for you. Visit It's Good To Be The Dad and get some encouragement and inspiration for the wonderful journey you're on.

Last thing, I promise. If you're following me on Facebook, show some Christmas spirit and please SHARE SHARE SHARE these posts. You'll bless me and all your friends as well. Thanks!

Bonus: Here is a nice post about the history of several most-beloved carols.

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