Born that man no more may die

December 24, 2017 2:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts
If my children talk about me when I am dead, I am fairly certain one of their memories will go thus:
“Remember how Hark the herald used to make mom cry?” “Yeah, she was weird like that.”
Earlier this week, facebook re-fed me a video of my eldest daughter singing Hark! the herald angels sing from three years ago. She would have been about two and a half years old at the time. It is perfect. I am fairly certain that re-watching this memory made me smile even bigger than I did at the time I was recording. Watching this, of course, spurred me on to update the video with her singing the same carol this year, at age five and a half. When in a moment of motherly boasting I shared these videos with a co-worker, she said, “just think, God-willing, someday she will understand what she is singing.”
As a lover of hymns, I am often in the process of teaching my children to sing things I know they have no way of truly understanding. I teach them words I pray they will one day understand. I was pondering this a-fresh as we were lighting the candles of our Advent wreath as a family, Abby singing beautiful words of the faith: Of the father’s love begotten, O come, O come Emmanuel, and Come, thou long expected Jesus.  She loves these songs and these words because she knows them … that is she knows the words, but I know she likely doesn’t really grasp what they mean.
But then again, I think, do I understand what they mean?
Of the Father’s love begotten
ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega;
He the source, the ending He,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see
evermore and evermore!
or
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
I sing them. I believe them. I know them. My heart yearns to understand them, but sometimes I wonder if that is even possible.
Hark! is one of my favorite hymns of all time. It is one of those songs that has become a soundtrack running in the background of my mind whether it is nearing Christmas or the dead heat of July. I have been singing it since I was little, but at some point in my “adult” life, I think I finally began to believe it. Not just in my head – that box had been checked for a while I suppose – but in my heart.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail, the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as Man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel!
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
That’s the part that makes me cry.
What if Christ had waited until we were ready to understand what he was doing? I don’t think he would have come yet.
In the Nicene Creed, we say,

We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.

We believe. Lord help our unbelief. Help our understanding, but first help our unbelief. Teach us to know you, to love you, to trust you, even when we begin to understand that your ways are far beyond our understanding.
Hark! the herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King,
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinner reconcil’d.
Hark! the herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King.
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With the angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.
Hark! the herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King.
Christ by highest Heaven ador’d,
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Hark! the herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail, the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as Man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel!
Hark! the herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King.
Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Hark! the herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King.
Merry Christmas.

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This post was written by Nicki