What Child is This?!

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.

Today we celebrate the child born to us, for us: Jesus!

We join with all who have gone before us who also believed the Good News when we add our voices to those of the angels and sing His praises.

Not just as Christmas time, but especially now.

There have been many moments in history where I believe the angels have sung God’s praises in adoration and awe at His creative might, but possibly none as mind boggling as that night.

The King over everything seen and unseen, full of all power, wisdom and majesty, born as a humble baby in the unlikeliest of situations:

Born to a Virgin,
step son to a carpenter,
arriving away from home,
wrapped in the same swaddling clothes that are used in burial services,
with angels, shepherds and wise men coming to offer what they had to their newborn King.

What a sight that would have been to behold live!

Yet despite the time delay, the Word recorded this snapshot of miraculous history in the collection of His Words for us, so we too can wonder at the marvels of His plan.

God with us.
God one of us.
God tangible.
God touchable.
God’s love on live display!

I have enjoyed taking a closer look at some of the traditional and newer carols as Christmas drew near.

It has confirmed for me that what, rather Who, I really need to take a closer look at tends to stay only a baby in the manger if we aren’t careful to see Him as the whole King He really is.

For God with us is the One and the same Messiah who saved our sins, Christ who died for our sins on the cross, and triumphant King who rose again!

May the echo of all He is resonate and resound through the world, and overflow out of the love and appreciation we have for the One we receive with open hearts!

He is born, hallelujah!

image

Historical Background:

This wonderful Carol was written in William Chatterton Dix in 1865, and is sung to the beautiful Greensleeves folk tune arranged by John Stainer, which was first referred to in 1580s.

Carol of the Bells

Hark! how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say,
“Throw cares away.”
Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold

-Carol of the Bells

The songs of Christmas have been playing in homes, public gatherings and over the airwaves since that first night when Jesus was born.

And different nationalities bring their uniqueness to the ADVENTure, offering us a rich variety of song to express to our King as praise.

Just as each of us have a unique song of praise to offer Him.

I have a coworker who plays handbells with a team of talented musicians, whose church here in town had stood for many many years with a rich history.

Over a year ago now, that church burned down through a roofing accident.

Our town, and especially its parishioners were devastated.

No one was physically injured, yet the losses were huge.

One day, one of those cleaning out the structure recovered the church’s set of handbells.  And a few choir robes.

A bit smoky and in need of cleaning, but all in one piece.

Both tools used by those who knew how to offer up praise.

Those bells sound all the sweeter to their users now, for they know it was a miracle how they were spared in the fire.

We are the bells of Christmas.

God uses our unique songs to blend together and resound His love for the world, especially at this time of year.

For all those who are focused on what they have lost or lack need to be reminded of the Hope which arrived in all the humbleness humanity had to offer.

“Love came down to rescue me” and what a sweet sound that reminder is to the lonely, hurting ones among us. At any age and stage.

May He echo in the sounds of this season through those willing to let His praise resound.

image

Historical Background:
Composed by Mykola Leontovych in 1904 with lyrics penned by Peter J. Wilhousky, Carol of the Bells song is based on an Ukrainian folk song, “Shchedryk.”

Sunday Psalm: Hope’s Anthem

The song lyrics to Hope’s Anthem is resounding through my heart this morning.

Its been a rough emotional week as I have been wrestling down discouragement & renewing my walk with Hope. 

This song is my new anthem, for my Hope is alive & arising within me from new depths today. 🙂

Sometimes what He has already spoken to another’s heart can become our anthem too.  This song encompasses where I have been and where I am headed. Straight into Hope’s embrace!

image

Hope’s Anthem – Bethel Music

He’s awakening the hope in me
By calling forth my destiny
He’s breathing life into my soul
I will thirst for Him, and Him alone

He has come like the rain
That showers on the barren plain
So my heart and tongue confess
Jesus Christ, the hope of man

My hope is in You, God
I am steadfast, I will not be moved
I’m anchored, never shaken
All my hope is in You

He’s bringing hope to the hopeless
And giving His heart to the broken
And sharing His home with the orphan
He is the joy, He is my joy

He is the hope of the nations
The Father’s heart we’re embracing
He is the song we’re declaring
He is the joy, He is my joy

Why so downcast oh, oh my soul
Put your hope in God alone