Tag Archives: incarnation

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 36: The Birth of Jesus Christ

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 36: The Birth of Jesus Christ

This entry is part 36 of 41 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 36: The Birth of Jesus Christ Weekly memory verse: Psalm 100:1–2 – “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Weekly hymn: “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” (free download) Weekly catechism: Since you have been saved by grace alone… Continue Reading

Twelfth Hymn of Christmas: Behold, the Great Creator

Twelfth Hymn of Christmas: Behold, the Great Creator

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“Behold, the Great Creator,” written by Thomas Pestel in 1539, juxtaposes the mystery of the Creator of all who made himself “a house of clay.” The tune, THIS ENDRIS NYGHT, is a beautiful English carol from the 15th century. Behold, the great Creator makes Himself a house of clay, a robe of virgin flesh He takes… Continue Reading

Eleventh Hymn of Christmas: Christians, Awake!

Eleventh Hymn of Christmas: Christians, Awake!

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A lesser known Christmas hymn, “Christians, Awake!” retells the Luke 2 story in a powerful and vivid way. Medical doctor John Byrom wrote this text in 1749 simply as a devotional poem. The tune, YORKSHIRE, by John Wainwright, perfectly captures the exuberance of the text and the subject matter. Christians, awake! Salute the happy morn… Continue Reading

Tenth Hymn of Christmas: See Amid the Winter’s Snow

Tenth Hymn of Christmas: See Amid the Winter’s Snow

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Like Rosetti’s “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Edward Caswall metaphorically connects the cold of winter to the condition of the earth at Jesus’s birth. He wrote “See Amid the Winter’s Snow” in 1858, a retelling of Luke 2 with some powerfully imagery like “Lo, within a manger lies He who built the starry skies.” See, amid… Continue Reading

Ninth Hymn of Christmas: All My Heart This Night Rejoices

Ninth Hymn of Christmas: All My Heart This Night Rejoices

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Written by German pastor Johann Gerhardt in 1653 and translated into English in 1858 by Catherine Winkworth, “All My Heart This Night Rejoices” explores the great value of the incarnation. Most poignantly, “He becomes the Lamb that taken sin away and for aye full atonement maketh.” All my heart this night rejoices as I hear… Continue Reading

Eighth Hymn of Christmas: In the Bleak Midwinter

Eighth Hymn of Christmas: In the Bleak Midwinter

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Christina Rosetti poetically pictures the cold, dark, hard condition of the earth when Jesus came to save us. This recognition should cause us to give ourselves–all that we have–to him. The tune, CRANHAM, comes from English composer Gustav Host in 1906. In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth… Continue Reading

Seventh Hymn of Christmas: From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

Seventh Hymn of Christmas: From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” was one of Martin Luther’s first hymns, penned in 1535 and translated into English by Catherine Winkworth in 1855. Luther modeled the first stanza after a well-known German folksong, and wrote the text originally for his family’s Christmas devotions. He originally used the folk tune with the text,… Continue Reading

Sixth Hymn of Christmas: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Sixth Hymn of Christmas: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Staying with the theme of German carols, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” comes from the fifteenth century and was translated by a couple different people into English in 1894, 1875, and 1914. The hymn develops Isaiah’s prophesy concerning the “rose” from the “stem of Jesse ” (Isa. 11:1; 35:1-2). The tune is a traditional German… Continue Reading

Fifth Hymn of Christmas: How Bright Appears the Morning Star

Fifth Hymn of Christmas: How Bright Appears the Morning Star

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Known as the “Queen of the Chorales,” this Lutheran hymn by Philpp Nicolai was written in 1599. Unusual for this time period, Nicolai also composed the tune, WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET. As is often true of German chorales, “How Bright Appears the Morning Star” masterfully combined rich incarnation theology with devotional warmth, as the singer cries, “Jesus,… Continue Reading

Fourth Hymn of Christmas: Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

Fourth Hymn of Christmas: Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The German Lutheran tradition has a rich heritage of Christmas hymns. “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” comes from Lutheran pastor, Johann Rist in 1641. He originally wrote a 12-stanza poem on the incarnation that was later paraphrased and adapted as a hymn. It recalls the brilliant light at then heralding of the angels and… Continue Reading

Third Hymn of Christmas: Love Came Down at Christmas

Third Hymn of Christmas: Love Came Down at Christmas

This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Christina Rosetti has written some of the most beautiful Christmas carols, and “Love Came Down at Christmas” is no exception. Penned in 1855, this hymn centers on the theme of love–Christ is love personified, and our response to his coming should be love toward him and others. Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely,… Continue Reading

Second Hymn of Christmas: Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Second Hymn of Christmas: Of the Father’s Love Begotten

This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series 12 Hymns of Christmas You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Almost as ancient as “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” this hymn is probably more well-known. “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” was written in the fourth century by Marcus Aurelius Prudentius, a poet from northern Spain, and translated into English in 1851 by John Mason Neale as part of the Oxford Movement. This hymn is… Continue Reading

Twelve Hymns of Christmas

Twelve Hymns of Christmas

Tomorrow begins the Twelve Days of Christmas, and so in honor of this festive season, I will be highlighting one Christmas hymn each of the twelve days. I’ll focus on some lesser-known hymns, complete with a bit of background, the full text, a link to a free download, and a video. Merry Christmas! Continue Reading

When did the Magi visit Jesus?

When did the Magi visit Jesus?

Despite popular nativity scenes that place the magi in the stable along with the shepherds and animals, it is conventional in recent times to insist that the magi did not visit Jesus until long after his birth–up to two years by some accounts. Years ago I heard about Layton Talbert’s argument that the magi did,… Continue Reading

The Christ We Need

The Christ We Need

Kevin T. Bauder Our understanding of Christ connects directly to the gospel. Gospel means good news. The goodness of the good news stands out only against the backdrop of the bad news, and the bad news is that we are sinners who stand under the just condemnation of the eternal God. The good news is… Continue Reading

The Incarnation and Angelic Salvation

The Incarnation and Angelic Salvation

The apostle Paul clearly taught that Christ’s incarnation is essential to our salvation. He wrote to the Corinthians, “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). To the Romans he added,… Continue Reading

The Mystery of the Incarnation

The Mystery of the Incarnation

The Church confesses the incarnation of Jesus Christ as a mystery. On the one hand He is “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were… Continue Reading

Incarnation

Incarnation

Little child, look on me— What can Thy newborn eyes see? Dost Thou recognize a man Fashioned by Thine ancient plan? Infant that Thou hast become Canst Thou yet behold me from The aspect of eternity? Little child, think of me— No slave was ever less free. I have sold myself to sin, Vainly now… Continue Reading

Humanism and the Incarnation

Humanism and the Incarnation

These days humanism is often equated with secularism or human autonomy from the divine. Originally, however, the term was used to designate the celebration of the humanities, those pursuits and disciplines that are most characteristic of human enterprise. The humanities were thought to be valuable because they were humane—because they reflected the genuine humanity of… Continue Reading

The Missional Church and Culture

The Missional Church and Culture

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Toward a Biblical Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The missional church movement has significantly influenced the evangelical church in recent years, especially their philosophy of evangelism and worship (see my recent series on this subject here). Missional advocates argue that the church is part of the missio Dei—the mission of God—and thus must see its ministries as fitting within that mission. Essential to… Continue Reading