Thursday December 3, 2020
For our Advent devotionals we are looking deeper at some of our favorite carols.
Today’s Scripture: John 3:16-17
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Today’s Carol: Savior of the Nations, Come
Savior of the nations, come; virgin’s son, make here your home.
Marvel now, O heaven and earth, that the Lord chose such a birth.
From God’s heart the Savior speeds; back to God his pathway leads;
Out to vanquish death’s command, back to reign at God’s right hand.
Now your manger, shining bright, hallows night with newborn light.
Night cannot this light subdue; let our faith sine ever new.
Praise we sing to Christ the Lord, virgin’s son, incarnate Word!
To the holy Trinity praise we sing eternally.
Unless you were raised Lutheran you might not be aware of this hymn. It’s not in our Baptist Hymnal – but it’s one I really like. Here is a link to an arrangement of it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqHMbhQjlrA&pbjreload=101
You will notice that the words on the video are different than the ones above. That’s what happens when Latin gets translated into German and then into English! This hymn text is attributed to Ambrouse, a Bishop of Milan in the 4th Century. However, it was Martin Luther who put the text to music.
The second verse is the one I want to turn our attention to because it lays out in just four lines the whole of the Christian story.
From God’s heart the Savior speeds – Christ comes to us as God – as God’s own heart. I love the word “speeds” here. It makes me think God REALLY wanted to get here.
Back to God his pathway leads – This phrase reminds us that we are connected to God though Jesus. It’s Jesus who leads us to God.
Out to vanquish death’s command – Any good Christmas carol has echoes of Easter in it. Here we are reminded that Jesus came to save us from the power of death
Back to reign at God’s right hand – reminds us that Jesus rose from the dead and is reigning even today.
Christmas is not just about the story of Jesus’ birth. It should also remind us of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. We do not celebrate Christmas just because it’s a sweet story about a baby in a manger. Rather, we celebrate because that birth changed the world.
God thank you that Christmas can remind us of the whole life and purpose of Jesus. Help us to see Easter in our Christmas celebrations and to recall the full story about your son.