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One of my friends has hosted a Facebook contest that encourages people to pick their favorite Christmas song. In an NCAA Tournament-style bracket, the contest pitted 64 songs against one another in a round-by-round process, with one song to win out in the end.

The hand-picked music contest includes songs like “Silver Bells,” “O Holy Night” and even “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”; but it leaves out songs like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “Christmas Shoes.”

There’s one song, in particular, that I’m rooting for to win it all. It’s a song that I think is the best Christmas song ever: lyrically, musically and theologically.

In fact, the song is so strong that I would put it up against any other Christmas song, and even any song period. It’s so packed full of truth that if the entire world happened to temporarily misplace the Christmas story as communicated in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, the central truths about Christmas could be recovered and understood completely in this one song.

I’m referring to “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” composed by Charles Wesley. Without further ado, click this link to hear a rendition of the song, or simply let the lyrics below pour over you.

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored; Christ the everlasting Lord; Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

 Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home; Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head. Now display Thy saving power, Ruined nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place: Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy love. Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man: O, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart.

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Whether through this glorious song or another, may the peace and joy of Christ be with you this Christmas now and always.