Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Mystery

We have now reached the last week of Advent, which also means that I am posting the last of my Christmas hymns. For most of my hymns, I use all or part of the first line as a title. But this one is instead entitled “Christmas Mystery,” a title which more or less summarizes what I love about Christmas.

 When I was 10, my father volunteered to preach at a church we had been going to for about four months. It was near Christmas time, so he was preaching on the Incarnation. One part of his sermon particularly stood out to me. He listed a series of paradoxes about what happened when Jesus was born: “The One who had no beginning is born, the Almighty becomes weak, the unchangeable God changes, the One who has everything gets something he didn’t have before – a human nature.” I was blown away by the amazingness of Christmas, and by how much of a mystery it is. For years, that awe remained with me, mostly unconsciously, until I began writing hymns. This hymn tries, as best I can, to capture the beauty of Jesus, especially in the miracle of His birth.

Christmas Mystery

He who forged Earth’s iron core
And scattered stars to distant skies
Came shattered beauty to restore
And answer lost ones’ mournful cries.
A God who stands among the weak
To lift each burden that they face
To lift away their bondage bleak
And give them strength in holy grace.

The star of hope for all the years
Though spoken of through ages past
Lies born in dust and blood and tears
Without His glorious trumpets’ blast
Yet in His tiny hand He holds
The power that built the mountains high
His glory shatters earthly molds
As angels’ voices split the sky

The angel heralds call out clear
To tell us of the infant King
Who comes to crush the power of fear
And let the notes of justice ring
Yet first He comes to serve and die
Not yet to take His rightful place
That those who chose to crucify
Their king might still receive his grace.

He calls us now with signs and stars
To find the child born a king
To give him all that once was ours
And songs of love and praise to sing
So as we journey through the night
And seek our true Desire’s star
We find that Jesus, through His might
Has sought us from our exile far.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth,
    This hymn has blessed me immensely this Christmas and last Christmas. I actually put music to these words and sang this for our Christmas service last year (I hope that's ok!). I would love to get you a recording of the music and lyrics. Thank you again for the inspired words!

    - Kevin Williams, Pineville, LA