Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"Pleased as man, with men to dwell..."

How carefully did you listen to the words of the Christmas carols you may have been inundated with over the past few weeks?

For some carols this will reveal how shallow or meaningless they are. For others it will show a depth we take for granted--especially if we go past the first stanza or two.

While I was aware of the words before, this year the words to "Hark the Hearld Angels Sing" really penetrated me. As with many Christmas carols, we should sing this year round, and meditate on the words-
Pleased as man, with men to dwell.
Jesus, our Emmanuel.

He was pleased to become man, He is our God with us.
Yes, in many circles this point is common and well known--but there is something about the way it was put in this song that says it quite eloquently.
It references John 1:1-14; Philippians 2:5-9; Isaiah 7:14; and Matthew 1:23, among others.
It has more depth than much of the teaching out there-especially what I see on the internet.

Then I found this stanza-

Adam's likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the New-born king!"

Wow--even more depth and truth--we need to sing this one!
(And a big thanks to Joshua Robinson of the Son of Man blog for posting this stanza!)

I know for so many years my mind basically zoned out to the words of these songs, and I missed the depth and richness of meaning in them. Still we do need to be discerning--there are some that make little sense and contain error or fluff.
But just because Christmas is over, let's not stop singing the good ones.


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