Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
Infant holy, infant lowly, for His bed a cattle stall;
Oxen lowing, little knowing Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Swiftly winging, angels singing, nowells ringing, tidings bringing:
Christ the babe is Lord of all! Christ the babe is Lord of all!
Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping vigil till the morning new --
Saw the glory, heard the story, tidings of a gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow, praises voicing, greet the morrow:
Christ the babe was born for you! Christ the babe was born for you!
A few years ago I was in a church meeting where we were talking about worship music, and one of the people there -- an elder, who preferred traditional hymns -- was complaining about worship songs that were too short. "Why can't they write more verses?" he grumbled. I considered asking him if he also disapproved of Psalm 117 (two verses, 26 words), but I held my tongue.
Today's carol is, literally, short and sweet. In eight lines it has Baby Jesus in a manger, shepherds, angels: the whole Christmas story. But more than that, it has the gospel message: Jesus came to earth for us, so we can face each new day with hope and joy.