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?
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 Christian, fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading:
Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne, 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.
Raise, raise the song on high, the Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.
Maybe it's that I've spent half this year being a babysitter, but for some reason this Christmas I can't stop thinking about how thoroughly amazing it is that God should come to us, and come as a baby. As something so vulnerable, so humble, so dependent, so unassuming, yet something that symbolises the promise and potential that every human is given from the start of their lives.
I can't put it into words, but if anyone were to ask me right now what separates Christianity from other religions, or what makes our God special, I would say - he came as a baby. Christ born in a humble stable, laid in a manger, and the first people to hear of his birth mere shepherds - that tells me something about the character of our God that seems so powerful to me that I can't quite understand why people forget about it in favour of tinsel, Santa Claus and "Jingle Bell Rock".
Merry Christmas, everyone - I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow (or the day after, depending on your timezone) with your loved ones.