Thursday, December 17, 2009

Advent Meditation

Day 19 – Still, Still, Still
Scripture: Isaiah 53:4-6

Both text and melody have Austrian roots; both are simple and leave you singing the words or humming the tune during quiet moments. Some of our Christmas hymns are robust and full of activity: the appearance of the angels, the shepherds rushing off to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus in the manger, but not this one. Hear these words:

Still, still, still, He sleeps this night so chill!
The Virgin’s tender arms enfolding,
Warm and safe the Child are holding.
Still, still, still, He sleeps this night so chill.

Sleep, sleep, sleep, He lies in slumber deep
While angel hosts from heaven come winging,
Sweetest songs of joy are singing.
Sleep, sleep, sleep, He lies in slumber deep.

Words to ponder. This hymn lends itself to contemplation. Its words are simple and portray a natural scene of a newborn nestled in the arms of his mother. It is quiet and peaceful. Contrast the text with that of the Isaiah passage. The sleeping baby is the one who bore our sin and was crushed for our iniquities. The gentle one became our scapegoat.

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