Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bloody Christmas

We all know the song put to the music of Greensleeves: "What Child is this?" Perhaps we miss the weighty issue it meditates on: namely that God became a helpless baby, crying and without bladder control totally dependent on a teenage mother. How bizarre a belief we are bound to as Christians that a limitless God took on the confines of time, space and skin. This bloody mess of an infant made the matter it now lives in?

Perhaps we also forget that sweet baby we get warm fuzzies about soon will have his flesh torn by nails as we neglect to sing the second chorus:


Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross he bore for me, for you
Hail, hail, the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.


With the happiness of eggnog, lights, trees and presents, we don't like to meditate on metaphysical impossibilites of the incarnation or that the child in our cute manger scene will soon be a bloody mess again. And we should not be sad during Christmas. But it is necessary sometimes to know why Christmas happened, namely that God must come to pay the price only He could pay, but only we were required to pay, in a bloody mess.


Verse 1:

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

Chorus 1:

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Verse 2:

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.


Chorus 2:

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross he bore for me, for you
Hail, hail, the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Verse 3:

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.


Chorus 3:

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

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