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Advent Day 12

December 11, 2008

“What Child Is This?” is probably one of my favorite Christmas songs. I like how it captures the mystery of the Nativity.

And I like ZOEgirl’s rendition of it. I don’t know who put this on YouTube, but it’s the only version I could find. The picture doesn’t change, so you can hit play and keep reading.


What Child is this who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing,
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear for sinners here, the silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, the cross be borne for me and you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him frankincense, gold and myrrh, come peasant, king to own Him,
The King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise a song on high, the virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

A child is born to a new couple in horrible circumstances, and yet what was the atmosphere that night? How heavy was the presence of God at the moment that He first breathed as a man? What was the spiritual scene? How many of the angels were there, looking on in wonder and amazement that Yahweh would do such a thing? Could Mary and Joseph know, or feel, the weight of what had just happened?

Was this the song that everyone sang that night? “What Child is this?” The angels because of how incomprehensible that God would become human for the sake of those who hate and reject Him? The shepherds because for their entire lives they’d heard stories that one day … one day the Messiah would come to deliver their people? Mary and Joseph because of the trials they had endured and overcome to get that far?

How many other new babies lay in their mothers’ laps that evening, and yet this one … What Child is this? What has God done? What is He doing? Where does His perfect plan go from here? How can a baby, born in a stable, be the answer to Israel’s prayers? To the world’s desperation?

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