Now, for someone like me, geared towards melancholy, this song addresses an inescapable side to the Savior's coming. It looks back in time to Jesus' birth and forward to his return with the whole reason for his arrival and rejection fixed firmly through-out. It's beautiful, both the words and the music.
However, while reading to Arowyn the way God announced the birth of His Son, I discovered sometimes how we view the arrival of the baby Jesus can be juxtaposed to God's view of his first coming. Our perspective is oft' times wrapped in a garb of regret. Not so with scripture where there is JOY and REJOICING...HOPE and PEACE...GOODWILL towards us.
In the song mentioned (and many modern songs, like "Mary Did You Know?") it seems to me a bitter sweetness has entered our view of our Lord's birth that is not inherent to the telling of his actual coming. Yes, it's in the storyline, like no room for him in the inn and only the shepherds come to see Him the night he was born. And even though the whole sacrificial "Lamb of God" symbolism is overwhelming, magnificent and utterly compelling, it's not the movement we find in focus; it's not the point.
Some may say we feel that way because WE KNOW the outcome of his birth is the reason for his arrival, his death. Well, yeah...God did too, infinitely and vastly more than we ever will or can. And yet there is no sigh, no tears, no sorrow, no "oh poor Jesus born in a manger", in the "cold" which was probably June. Instead the story is charged with anticipation and expectant hope.
I mean...don't we get excited and yearn for a baby to come for 9+ months??...the World had been anticipating the Rescuer of our Souls' birth for millenniums! And here he was! Finally! And what baby's birth should be accompanied by a sigh for the future, least of all our Savior's?
Does this mean I'll never listen to these kinds of songs again? NO! I still LOVE this song...But it does mean, for me, when my eyes fill with tears and I know his love for me, even in my sin, is the reason he came, I will be better able to return the focus of my heart to where it ought to be during this time as in the taking of the Lord's Supper (rabbit trail) On HIM...not me.God's perfect redemptive and wondrous plan, that which he had wanted, planned, foretold and promised took form in a sweet, precious baby
"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."– Luke 2:10-12
"The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us . We beheld his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." ~Jn 1:14Merry Christmas!