Lo, how a rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung, of Jesse’s lineage coming, by faithful prophets sung. It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter, when half spent was the night.
In the opening scene from the movie adaptation of “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” a violin plays as a woman sings, Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen… the original German version of this beautiful hymn. There is nothing quite like this particular tune played on strings – it livens the soul.
At the heart of the lyrics, the author points us beyond his royal lineage (as a descendant of Jesse’s youngest son, David), and even past the prophets. Instead, the focus becomes the purpose of the flower, the child that is born: to show God’s love aright.
From the very beginning, Christ displayed the true nature of God’s love. It is the love powerful enough to break down walls and bind up the brokenhearted. It is the love stronger than death, fierce enough to empower the lost and forgotten to come and see. Even better, those who do see then leave to tell the story of their encounter with the living God.
As you listen to this stunning piece, remember that we, too, have encountered the Christ-child in our midst. We also have a story to tell. And we have the opportunity to continue in God’s story by showing God’s love aright ourselves.
As we pursue this calling, may this give us courage: This flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere. Enfleshed, yet very God, from sin and death he saves us and lightens every load.
Reverse Advent Calendar: See if there is a local school or library where you might read to children. Use this season to prepare for the new year ahead and to continue this work in some ongoing way. Remember, the season’s end is only the beginning of all God has for us to do in the year ahead.