Sunday, December 24, 2006

CQOD: 12/25/06 -- Bonar: a Bethlehem hymn

Christian Quotation of the Day

December 25, 2006
    For to us a child is born,
        to us a son is given;
    and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
        and his name shall be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
        Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Of the increase of his government and of peace
        there will be no end,
    on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
        to establish it and to uphold it
    with justice and with righteousness
        from this time forth and forevermore.
    The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
        -- Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)

    He has come! the Christ of God;
    Left for us His glad abode,
    Stooping from His throne of bliss,
    To this darksome wilderness.

    He has come! the Prince of Peace;
    Come to bid our sorrows cease;
    Come to scatter with His light
    All the darkness of our night.

    He, the Mighty King, has come!
    Making this poor world His home;
    to bear our sin’s sad load,—
    Son of David, Son of God!

    He has come whose name of grace
    Speaks deliverance to our race;
    Left for us His glad abode,—
    Son of Mary, Son of God!

    Unto us a Child is born!
    Ne’er has earth beheld a morn,
    Among all the morns of time,
    Half so glorious in its prime!

    Unto us a Son is given!
    He has come from God’s own heaven,
    Bringing with Him, from above,
    Holy peace and holy love.
        ... Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Dear friends of CQOD,
    Another year has passed, and grace has never paused. The boundless love of our Lord shames us once again with the humility of His birth and the submissive character of His holy life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection. Christmas overwhelms us again.
    It is right that I am shamed--a whole year full of missed opportunities, moments that found me too busy with something or other to listen to God calling me to better work or pleasure. For, the labor we do in His Name is satisfying beyond anything we can do for ourselves, and when I would rather be distracted into my own desires, I forget that. The Post-It below my computer monitor, on which I have written "Live by faith," is almost covered over with reminders of so many other, seemingly more pressing, obligations or tasks. So, I never believed enough, hoped enough, or loved enough, in this tumultuous year. It is a busy age we live in.
    "He who has ears to hear, let him hear," Jesus cried. The right time to listen is now, He declared. Some had ears and heard. Some never had ears that heard. And some only had ears that heard much later--like me. But the Spirit of God is the grantor of ears that hear. So when we contemplate Mary this Christmas, we recognize that she heard. So did Joseph. So did the shepherds. So did the Magi, who undertook a lengthy journey because of it. They were busy, doing whatever such people did in those days, but when they heard, they dropped it all and came. Our most urgent prayer must be that the Spirit grant ears that hear to those who need Him and have not yet heard Him.
    Anniversaries are important for a moment, but they seldom count for much in forming our lives--we celebrate and move on. But on this anniversary of Jesus' human birth, perhaps we will hear better, hear more, hear more completely, and in hearing, receive the grace of more faith, bigger faith, better faith. Perhaps one who has not heard Him before, one you may have thought deaf, will hear Him for the first time and be transformed.
    Hearing can do that, because it is the Lord Who is speaking.
    My family and I extend our wishes to you and yours for a happy, holy Christmas and beyond.

See Believer's Desktop Companion 2004

CQOD Compilation Copyright 2006, Robert McAnally Adams, Curator
CQOD Home Page:
Subscription info:
Comments and problems: email to


Post a Comment

<< Home