What Child is This?
January 06, 2019 | Lisa Degrenia
Passage: Matthew 2:1-12
History of What Child is This?
William Chatterton Dix was born in Bristol, England in 1837. In 1865, Dix was working as the manager of a maritime insurance company in Glasgow, Scotland. He was suddenly struck by a severe illness that confined him to bed and brought on severe depression. He began to read the Bible with great fervor and to write spiritual poetry. His near-death experience raised him to new life physically and spiritually.
What Child is This? By William C. Dix (UMH #219)
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?
Refrain: This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.
Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christians, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading. (Refrain)
Additional Verse: Nails, spear shall pierce him through; the cross he bore for me, for you; Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the Son of Mary!
So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh, come, peasant, king, to own him; The King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone him. (Refrain)
What makes a great gift?
Story of Laura and Kevin's engagement
A great gift is thoughtful, surprising, takes time and effort, is given from a place of love. A great gift has a deeper meaning.
The deeper meaning behind the gifts brought by the wise men/Magi (Matthew 2:1-12, NRSV)
The gifts of the wise men/Magi are precious, expensive, have a deeper meaning.
- They expect to find a king.
- They were searching for a leader who is worthy to be followed, worthy to give our allegiance.
- Frankincense (dried tree sap)
- Used as medicine or to offer prayers.
- They were searching for something greater than themselves, the Holy, the Divine, one who is worthy to be worshiped.
- Myrrh (dried tree sap)
- Used for cleaning wounds and embalming.
- They were looking for one who would bring them healing and wholeness.
The gifts point to who Jesus is and what he will do
Last Verse of We Three Kings by John Henry Hopkins: Glorious now behold Him arise, King and God and Sacrifice. Alleluia, Alleluia, Earth to heaven replies
Last Verse of In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti: What can I give Him, poor as I am. If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
So much more than just bringing our heart or even your money Bring You, the entirety of you, You are the treasure. Bring it all, give it all.
Jesus, you are King and God and Sacrifice
We bring you our gold: our prosperity, our possessions, our productivity
We bring you our frankincense: our worship, our reverence, our prayers
We bring you our myrrh: our brokenness, our grave clothes, our dust
Invitation to join one of the Reaching Ministries of the church.
The Christmas Story is full of singing. Over the centuries we’ve continued to celebrate with songs of our own, songs born from the joy of Christ’s coming. This holy season, to prepare our hearts again for the coming of Christ, we’ll reflect on the poetry of these meaningful songs.