Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Lyrics Christmas Forgot

          I love Christmas carols; they really help me get into the spirit of the season. I think it’s because they’re so rich in truth. Most of the lyrics come straight from the Scriptures. 

          As somebody who believes all the Christmas stuff about Jesus, I love songs that focus on the power, beauty, and mystery of the Incarnation.  A couple weeks ago, my friend Kelsey brought to my attention a “missing verse” from the song “What Child is This?” Here’s the verse: 

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.

She asked how come we’ve never heard this before. I thought that was a good question and I was curious what else we don’t sing. 

I found 2 verses commonly left out of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Don’t skip over them!

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

          These lyrics are especially awesome since I’ve been thinking a lot about restoration lately. 
          I don’t know about you, but sometimes there’s so much junk I carry around inside me, and I forget about God and his promises. In those times the reality of my ruined nature can be overwhelming. 

           I think my tendency is to define my Christian identity in past terms. Like when I first believed and how God made me right with himself from that moment on, even if I don’t feel like it now. 

          But sometimes that leaves me thinking that this is the best my life/walk/relationship with Him is going to get. I’ll just be a sinner saved by grace.

          That’s not good news. I mean, to be saved and to get eternal life is good news I guess, but if that’s all it is, it kinda sucks it feels like it's missing something. Especially in the here and now.

          But God’s plan involves so much more. He promises to right all wrongs and restore His Image in us as we follow Him. He imparts Himself to us and heals the brokenness in our believing hearts. His faithfulness in our restoration makes us saints who sometimes sin. His love transforms us so we can more and more, like 1 John says, walk as Jesus walked, as we ought to do.

          That’s good news. It gives me hope. 

I think we should sing these verses. So what if it takes 10 minutes to sing one song...


  1. Excellent thoughts. I'm in favor of ten-minute hymns, as long as they have good tunes, too.