Saturday, December 08, 2007

Behold, a Branch is Growing

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. Isaiah 11:1

Jesus thought of as a flower in winter? That's what this hymn is calling Him, and that is such a perfect metaphor. And to think He came at midnight. In other words, He came at the darkest hour; He came when when sin had thoroughly enveloped the human race. This is another one of those Christmas songs which we don't hear much. I doubt if you've heard it played in the stores. But, oh, what beautiful sentiments we find in this one. "This flow'r whose fragrance tender, with sweetness fills the air." That's our Savior. This lovely, lovely hymn came to us from Germany; the translation of the first four stanzas were by Harriet R. Spaeth and the last by John C. Mattes. Friends, don't we have a wonderful Lord and Savior? A flower in winter. Sounds like a good title for a book.

Behold, a Branch is growing
Of loveliest form and grace,
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse's race
And bears one little Flow'r
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.

Isaiah hath foretold it
In words of promise sure,
And Mary's arms enfold it,
A virgin meek and pure.
Through God's eternal will
This Child to her is given
At midnight calm and still.

The shepherds heard the story,
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of Glory,
Was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger found him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God;
From sin and death he saves us
And lightens every load.

O Saviour, Child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe;
O Saviour, King of Glory,
Who dost our weakness know,
Bring us at length, we pray,
To the bright courts of heaven
And to the endless day.

Listen here


Beka said...

This is a great one: among my favorites. And the tune is lovely, too!

sparrow's song said...

Yes, in the fullness of time, Christ came. God is rarely early but He is certainly never late.

Beautiful lyrics.