I have been thinking upon the dramatic and amazing events that surrounded the humble birth of Christ. God reached down, in unbelievable fashion, and placed His one and only Son into our world. I marvel at the faithfulness of Joseph, who handled the shocking news that his betrothed was carrying the child of God with such dignity. I wonder at Mary, who, in the throes of teenage hormones, did not become overcome with histrionics at the unsettling changes thrust upon her. Rather, she eloquently praised the Lord, then quietly pondered His sovereign plan. What strikes me most about these two is their openness to God's work in their lives. In this season, when tradition almost eclipses what is really important, I find I need to pause and ponder. To quietly accept and embrace what the sovereign hand of God is offering to me. This hymn moved me today. I tremble before Almighty God, who loved me so much that He sent His one and only Son to be my Savior and King.
Have a blessed Christmas!
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.
At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Lord Most High!
Words: Liturgy of St. James, 4th Century; translated from Greek to English by Gerard Moultrie, 1864. Music: Picardy, French carol melody; harmony from The English Hymnal, 1906, number 318