Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Advent Day Three: saw the glory, heard the (short) story

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.


  1. If he wanted more verses, he should write them himself. At the very least, he'd understand how hard it is to write good, theologically sound hymns or worship songs!

    I'm not certain if I've heard this particular song or not. I'll have to look it up. :)

    1. Thanks for your comment, Laura. And I agree about writing the verses himself. Sheesh. :-D


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