Have a blessed Christmas, everyone!
God’s most precious gift to humankind is our savior, Jesus Christ.
I enjoy many secular Christmas songs but I especially love Christmas and Advent hymns – sacred songs about the birth of Jesus Christ. One of my very favorite hymns is “What Child is This.”
I usually end up crying when I sing it.
Often, I hear this song played on the radio during the holiday season, but these versions often skip the second verse of the song. Why? I can only surmise that people find it disturbing. This is Christmas, the time of glittery lights, presents, eggnog and good cheer. Many love the story of the little baby born in Bethlehem – the child of hope, goodness and light – all the angels singing and the shepherds rushing to the stable in joy.
But we don’t want to think about the reason God chose to become incarnate in the first place – humankind’s sinful condition. We don’t want to think about that sweet little baby, Jesus, growing up to sacrifice himself on the cross because of us. We don’t want to remember how he suffered, shed his blood, and died to save us. That’s too gruesome for Christmas! We should save all that macabre stuff for Lent and Good Friday, right?
Now is the time to CELEBRATE, right?
Absolutely! Please do celebrate, both now and always – no matter the time of year. Christ’s birth is definitely something to celebrate about! God the Son came down from heaven and was incarnate as human – the Word made Flesh – fulfilled God’s law perfectly, atoned for our guilt, died and then rose from the dead to proclaim victory over sin, death and the devil. All for us. We have so much to be thankful for because of God’s mercy and his ultimate gift to us.
In case you never heard the full hymn version of “What Child Is This” and were curious, here are the lyrics:
I’m not sure how to cite this, but the above photos come from Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal, authorized by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. 2005. Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee WI USA