Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sing Christmas: Dec 16

See amid the winter's snow,
born for us on earth below,
see, the tender Lamb appears,
promised from eternal years.

Hail thou ever bless├Ęd morn,
hail redemption's happy dawn,
sing through all Jerusalem:
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Lo, within a manger lies
he who built the starry skies;
he who, throned in height sublime,
sits amid the cherubim.

Say, ye holy shepherds, say,
what your joyful news today.
wherefore have ye left your sheep
on the lonely mountain steep?

"As we watched at dead of night,
lo, we saw a wondrous light;
angels singing 'Peace on earth'
told us of the Saviour's birth."

Sacred Infant, all divine,
what a tender love was thine,
thus to come from highest bliss
down to such a world as this.

Teach, O teach us Holy Child,
By thy face so meek and mild,
Teach us to resemble thee,
In thy sweet humility.

Edward Caswell 1814 -1878

Edward Caswell’s carol, originally called “A Hymn for Christmas Day” is written for the “blessed morn” of the chorus’ first line. It celebrates the moment when hope dawns, when something happens that changes everything. As the carol points out, though, what has happened is very small and apparently fragile; a tender lamb, a sacred infant, something so tiny that it fits in a manger. Yet in the birth of that baby, as vulnerable and helpless as all babies are, “he who built the starry skies” comes into the mess of earth, “down to such a world as this”.

The carol finishes with a reminder that this “blessed morn” was not simply a one-day wonder, though. The birth of Christ is beginning of the building of a new kingdom of love and justice, in which we all have our part to play. “Teach us to resemble thee, in thy sweet humility”. We are invited to lay down our delusions of grandeur and see ourselves as God’s children, with a lifetime of learning and growing to do.

·         Can you recall times when your life has changed for the better in a moment, when a “blessed morn” has dawned for you in something that looked quite small and insignificant at the time?
·         What does “humility” mean to you? How might it be seen in your life?

Bible Reading: Weeping may linger for the night: but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30.5

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