Luke 2:11, Ephesians 1:7-10
“Savior of the Nations, Come”
The words are by St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan (339-397 AD), translated into German
by Martin Luther in 1523, and then from German to English by William M. Reynolds in
1851. The music comes from Johann Walther (Wittenberg, Germany, 1524), while the
harmony was scored by Johann S. Bach.
Savior of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.
Not by human flesh and blood;
By the Spirit of our God
Was the Word of God made flesh,
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.
Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.
From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell
High the song of triumph swell!
Thou, the Father’s only Son,
Hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?
Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.
Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.
“In the Christian story God descends to reascend.
He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders.”
— C.S. Lewis
If you are anything like me – you might find yourself avoiding things that are hard or complicated (finances, relationships, hard or even possibly life-giving conversations, work, your passions…the dishes). In these things we avoid, there is fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of vulnerability, fear of discomfort. What might you be avoiding in your life or relationships right now? Bring those to Jesus today, thanking him for the reality that when it was perfectly fine for him to avoid us – he came TO us. He faced vulnerability, discomfort, and our messiness straight-on in the Cross. This is love.
Christmas in the Room by Sufjan Stevens
Photos by Luz Bratcher.