Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ten Christmas Hymns, Day Four: Who is He in Yonder Stall

Though this hymn is located with the Christmas carols in my hymnal, it has only one line about Jesus' birth, and then goes on to tell the story of Jesus' entire earthly life. 

Who is He in Yonder Stall?

Who is He in yonder stall
At Whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is He in deep distress
Fasting in the wilderness?

'Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
'Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him, Lord of all!!

Who is He the people bless
For His words of gentleness?
Who is He to Whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?

Who is He that stands and weeps
At the grave where Lazarus sleeps?
Who is He the gathering throng
Greet with loud triumphant song?

Lo! at midnight, who is He
Prays in dark Gethsemane?
Who is He on yonder tree
Dies in grief and agony?

Who is He that from the grave
Comes to heal and help and save?
Who is He that from His throne
Rules through all the world alone?
--Benjamin Hanby, 1866

This hymn shows us the unexpected Savior. The King of glory became a baby, born into poverty. He was a man, hungry and tired and tested. The Mighty Messiah did not live the life we might have expected, but He did His Father's will.      

   photo credit: Lawrence OP via photopin cc

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