Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Child Is This?

I'll never forget my first semester of Gordon-Conwell. I took a systematic theology I class for fun and was forced to switch into a particular section because of my schedule. I gave up a class at HDS because the reading list for this systematic class looked too good to pass up. I remember sitting in this class all semester and most of the time, I just listened. I didn't take my laptop into class, and I only wrote in the margins of the handouts. It was quite the life-changing semester for me. And then Christmas immediately followed the end of this class. When I heard this classic Christmas hymn entitled "What Child is This?" a few days after the class final, I remember the tears that seemed as though they'd never stop. For the first time, it was as though I recognized, in some small part, the depths of the message of Christ's birth. This is truly God who comes to save His people by uniting Himself to flesh! And every time I hear this song, it brings me back to the truth of the theologia crucis. Here God is revealed, yet so hidden.

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 Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
The Cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word Made Flesh,
The babe, the son of Mary!
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
Come, peasant, king, to own Him!
The King of Kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him!
Raise, raise the song on high!
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy! joy! for Christ is born,
The babe, the son of Mary!

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