~* WHAT CHILD IS THIS? *~
William C. Dix, 1837-1898

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Luke 2:17

The question asked in this well-loved carol must have been uppermost in the minds of those present at Jesus' birth. We can almost hear the question being asked from one to another as they gazed into the humble manger. How difficult it must have been for them to understand that the babe who lay in "such mean estate" was truly the promised Messiah. And through the centuries men have continued to ponder who Christ really is--how can He be fully God and still fully man? Only through divine faith comes the revealed answer.

He Who is the Bread of Life began His ministry hungering.
He Who is the Water of Life ended His ministry thirsty.
Christ hungered as man, yet fed the multitudes as God.
He was weary, yet He is our rest.
He prayed, yet He hears prayers.
He was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeems sinners.
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
He died, and by dying destroyed death.

Author Unknown

How beautifully the triumphant answer to this imposing question bursts forth in the refrain--"This, this is Christ the King!"

This thoughtful text was written by William Dix, one of our finest lay hymn writers. While a successful insurance salesman in Glasgow, Scotland, he was stricken with a sudden serious illness at the age of 29. Dix was confined to bed for an extended period and suffered deep depression until he called out to God and "met Him in a new and real way." Out of this spiritual experience came many artistic and distinctive hymns, including this delightful carol. It was taken from a longer Christmas poem, "The Manger Throne", written by William Dix about 1865. The melody "Greensleeves" is a traditional English folk tune.



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 Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
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.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.



*For Today*: Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-28, 2:6-20

As you read and study the gospel account about Christ's birth, begin a study of both His claims and demonstrations that prove that He was truly God--truly deity, the Messiah sent from Heaven!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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