Lo, How a Rose…

God’s promises are ancient. In the time that it takes for them to be fulfilled, we sometimes misunderstand God’s true intention…

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.

This lovely carol crosses the threshold between Advent and Christmas. Like the season of preparation, it connects the Christmas story back to the prophecies of the Messiah’s arrival.

Though Mary is traditionally referred to as a rose, in this case, the rose of which the hymn speaks is actually the Christ-child. In traditional iconography, the white rose is Mary while the red is her child. It is this blood-shaded floweret that truly “shows God’s love aright.”

The lesson of this song is that God’s promises are ancient. In the time that it takes for them to be fulfilled, we sometimes misunderstand God’s true intention. However, God’s intention is always love – a love that gives everything to see another rise. May we learn to give that love even as it has been so generously given to us.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the rose I have in mind; with Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind. To show God’s love aright she bore for us a Savior, when half-spent was the night.

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