I came across this reading by David McCasland in Our Daily Bread and wanted to share it here. Most people know the Christmas carol, “What Child is this?” by William Dix. However, as Mr McCasland says, more often than not, the second verse is rarely sung nowadays.
But why is this so? Well, perhaps if one were to read the verse carefully, one might not wonder why! The message of the second verse is hard, and carries a tough message that the oh, so self-sufficient denizens of the 21st century feel is surplus to their requirements or which does not sit well with their lifestyles. This verse looks beyond the pretty Christmas card pictures of the manger where our Lord Jesus lay to the cross which He went to willingly in order to fulfil the reason for His coming. He went there for us – for you, me, our families, friends, and strangers; for people from all walks of life; for every single human being no matter our backgrounds or where we originated from.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear, for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleading.
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.
The Lord Jesus came to offer us all the opportunity of gaining heaven – not by our own efforts, but through His sacrifice. It was a sacrifice that involved a horrendous death; but to the God who loves us all so much, it was well worth it in order that those of us who accept and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour may enjoy eternity with Him. That is why the Christ Child came to earth.
And this is why we celebrate Easter. That the Lord Jesus would take upon Himself the burden of the world’s sins and die the death He did so that He might quite literally remove those sins from our besmirched morality. And, having buried them in death, He then offers everyone the gift of eternal life through His resurrection.
His challenge? To believe in Him and what He did for us, and to accept His gift of life. To live for and with Him as He journeys through our lives with each of us who has accepted His love, comfort, and joy. To turn to Him when things go pear-shaped, and to believe that He is the Lord and that He has everything in hand for each of us because He cares for us. And also to breathe a heart-felt “thank you” when things go well because He had a hand in that too.
All we need do is to approach Him, tell Him we are sorry for where we have gone wrong, and ask for His forgiveness. And then, we simply accept His forgiveness and the gift of salvation He offers us, and ask Him to come into our lives – to live with and in us, and to teach and lead us in His ways.
Simple, isn’t it? But what a lifetime of a fulfilling spiritual journey that will be too! And then, one day, we will meet Him face to face.
Meanwhile, never forget this that as a Christian, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, will be with us all the way – in joy, in sorrow, in simple everyday living. He is our Friend, our Saviour, and our God. He is Lord!