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Thursday, December 13, 2012

"What Child Is This? hymn page
Page from an old hymn book

"What Child Is This?"

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"When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child" (Luke 2:17).

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?

Gedde babies
In the course of our work in business chaplaincy we visit people right at their worksite, including many who work on computers. We notice that people often express themselves and share their interests by using a photo on their screensaver. Photographers have examples of their photos, one friend who's a fan of the Green Bay Packers displays a Packer logo, another shows a photo of bears he saw at his campsite and so forth. Some of the women use baby photography by Anne Geddes, showing anonymous babies in all kinds of cute poses, though I've yet to see a Geddes photo shoot on a man's computer.

Raymond with computer background photoHowever I often do see baby photos on men's computers and I don't have to ask them, "What child is this?" In my experience when a man puts a baby photo on a computer it's his baby! The photo to the right shows Raymond, a mechanical engineer in one of our companies. His wife just had their first child in November, a little girl, and Raymond is a very happy dad, quite pleased to share his photos. You don't have to ask; you just have to look! Don't be confused by two screens with babies. He doesn't have twins, he's just doubly proud!

One of the songs many of us will sing this season is, "What Child Is This?" written in 1865. At the age of twenty-nine, English writer William Chatterton Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression. Yet out of his near-death experience, Dix wrote many hymns, including "What Child Is This?", later set to the traditional English tune "Greensleeves". The song is written in a catechism style (a question followed by an answer) which can be a great aid to learning.

The daily text actually concerns an event at the conclusion of the Christmas narrative. The shepherds had seen Mary, Joseph and the infant Child as He laid in the manger. They now returned to share the report of what they had seen. "The statement which had been told them about this Child" was the message from the angels, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11).

Today let us join the hymnwriter and joyfully sing the answer to the question, "What Child Is This?"

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, just as the shepherds spread the word concerning what had been told them about the Child we too want to spread the word regarding all that we learn about the Christ Child through the revelation of Scripture and the Holy Spirit. Thank You for sending Jesus not only to royalty but also to the peasant, not only to the influential but also to the unknown. We do not hesitate but joyfully and openly bring Him glory and honor; the Babe, the Son of Mary. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"What Child Is This?"  Video  Selah

"This Little Child"  Video  Scott Wesley Brown

"Jesus, What a Wonderful Child"  Video  Homecoming music

"One Small Child"  Video  First Call

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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Text only version for printing: To make a text only version for printing (without photos or any of the supplemental materials)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

© Copyright 2012 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

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