Here we are approaching the Fourth Sunday of Advent already. I do believe that this is the season of the church year that seems to go by the fastest! This Sunday we’ll light the LOVE candle on the Advent wreath and sing the carol “Love Came Down at Christmas”. I thought you might be interested in the story of this carol. According to Wikipedia, its lyrics are “… a Christmas poem by Christina Rosseti. It was first published without a title in Time Flies: A Reading Diary in 1885. It was later included in the collection Verses in 1893 under the title “Christmastide”.
The poem has been set to music as a Christmas carol by many composers. More recently, the poem was given a modern treatment by Christian band Jars of Clay on their 2007 album, Christmas Songs. (You can listen to it for yourself on YouTube.) The poem is described by William Studwell in The Christmas Carol Reader as “simple, direct and sincere”’. He notes that it is a rare example of a carol which has overcome the disadvantage of ‘not having a tune which has caught the imagination of holiday audiences.’”
I would say that even though the tune isn’t as familiar as “Silent Night” or “Away in a Manger” the beauty and message of the words make up for that ‘disadvantage’.
In the New Century Hymnal’s information given about the carol, we learn that, “The text has been described by the noted editor Percy Dearmer as a… ‘gem, where so much is said in so little space.’”
We worship Jesus, love incarnate, who came as God’s gift to the world, and we are challenged to live out that love as a token, a sign, that we are his followers. May the beauty of Christmas carols lift your hearts and sooth your spirits in this challenging Advent 2020, and may you feel yourself held in the love of Christ .
God Bless You Everyone!
“Love Came Down at Christmas”
(Inclusive lyrics in “The New Century Hymnal”)
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But where is God’s sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to neighbor,
Love for plea and gift and sign.