(Editor’s Note: In the last few days we have emphasized the gay agenda in the LCMS, and there is more to come on this, but remembering that BJS is more about building up the church than it is critiquing the church, we offer for the Brothers’ edification a nice break via this new hymn text by Pastor Baue. The two weeks of Christmas are filled with great and profound stories of Holy Scripture. This hymn captures those stories and would be great to sing at the Divine Service on December 28 or for personal devotion on the 26th, 27th and 28th. Are there any parishes out there that do Matins or Morning Prayer on these feast days?)
(Tune: Tree of Life LSB 561)
1. December 25 The Nativity of Our Lord
O Jesus Christ, born of a maid,
In lowly manger you were laid.
The sheep and ox in silence stood
Around this cradle made of wood.
For you were born on Christmas Day,
The Lamb who took our sins away
As all Creation, speechless, cried,
When on a wooden cross you died.
2. December 26 St. Stephen, the First Martyr
You rolled the stone of death away
And rose alive on the Eighth Day;
Ascended to your throne on high
To rule and reign, no more to die.
St. Stephen by a stone was killed,
Yet he gave witness as God willed.
He saw your glory as he died.
“O Lord, forgive their sins,” he cried.
3. December 27 St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
Lord Jesus Christ, Incarnate Word,
You danced and sang and made the world,
And dwelt among usâ€”truth and grace
And love to save our fallen race.
As St. John leaned upon your breast,
By faith he came to peace and rest,
Confessing all he saw and heard
That we through him might love the Word.
4. December 28 The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Why do the heathen rage and spite?
Like Herod on that bloody night.
In anger vain he drew his sword
To kill the Everlasting Word.
The blessed Holy Innocents
Said not a word, gave no defense.
Yet by their blood they signify
That little saints can testify.
Now let us praise the Three in One:
The Father, Spirit, and the Son,
Incarnate full in Christ the Lord.
He came to bring not peace, but sword,
And sent forth holy martyrs true,
Who boldly spoke of what they knew.
May we take their example goodâ€”
Confessing, though it cost our blood.
Meter: 88 88 88 88
Copyright © 2008 Frederic W. Baue
The author hereby grants permission to reproduce, by print or electronic means, at no charge, the text of this hymn during the 2008 Christmas season.