Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Comment on a Hymn

'What Child Is This?'

This hymn raises a great question, one that every person will be confronted with on the day of judgment. Who is this Jesus? And the hymn provides some great answers. He is 'Christ the King', 'The silent Word', 'The King of Kings'. The hymn writer doesn't leave it there, simply to mention some names. He goes on to call us to respond to this child: 'bring him laud', 'hail the Word made flesh', 'Joy, for Christ is born'.

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, 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 a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The babe, the son of Mary.