"What Child Is This?"

David Bast

READ : John 1:1-14

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (v. 14)

One of the most beautiful old English tunes is “Greensleeves,” which dates at least to the Middle Ages and was mentioned by Shakespeare. In the 19th century another of those prolific Anglican hymn writers named William C. Dix wrote the lovely words of “What Child Is This?” to fit this tune.

It's a good question: what child is this? As we see with faith's eye the baby with Mary his mother watching over him in the stable, and realize that at the same time this helpless infant is the eternal Word of God through whom all things were made, we should be filled with wonder. It reminds us of the question his disciples would later ask, after they saw him silence a stormy lake with a single word of command. “What manner of man is this . . . ?” (Mark 4:41 KJV). And just as the disciples were awestruck and frightened when they caught a glimpse of Jesus' true nature, so Dix urges us to a kind of reverential fear at the sight of God lying in a feed box.

Why lies He in such mean estate,

Where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christian, fear: for sinners here

The silent Word is pleading.

But we need to do more than wonder at the mystery of God made man. We need to respond to him appropriately.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,

Come, peasant, king to own Him.

The King of kings salvation brings;

Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Audio Link: http://goo.gl/8ECuqB


Lord, my heart enthrones you on this holy day.