WEEK TWO | DAY FIVE | COLOSSIANS 1:15-20
This Arabic song, which emerged from Catholic and Orthodox traditions, dates back to the Byzantine Empire (4th century). Composed in a liturgical chant style, it is still one of the most-beloved Arab Christmas carols today and continues to resound through Arabic-speaking congregations seventeen centuries later.
نسجد لميلادك أيها المسيح
TODAY IS BORN OF A VIRGIN
HE WHO HOLDS THE WHOLE CREATION IN HIS HAND.
HE WHOSE ESSENCE NONE CAN TOUCH
IS BOUND IN SWADDLING CLOTHES AS A CHILD.
GOD, WHO IN THE BEGINNING ESTABLISHED THE HEAVENS,
LIES IN A MANGER.
HE, WHO RAINED MANNA ON HIS PEOPLE IN THE WILDERNESS,
IS FED ON MILK FROM HIS MOTHER’S BREAST.
THE BRIDEGROOM OF THE CHURCH SUMMONS THE WISE MEN.
THE SON OF THE VIRGIN ACCEPTS THEIR GIFTS.
WE WORSHIP THY BIRTH, O CHRIST.
SHOW US ALSO THY DIVINE THEOPHANY.
The contrasts described in these lyrics are part of the miracle of Christ’s coming. The Creator became a baby. “He whose essence none can touch” is gently cradled, held in work-worn hands, laid in a manger. This God who feeds His people is now at His earthly mother’s breast. This awe-filled song closes with a request that we, too, might see His appearing. Take a moment today to listen to this chant online (full lyrics and video are available here). Ask God to give you, and all peoples of the earth, opportunities this Advent to experience the awe and wonder of knowing Jesus—whether in new ways or for the very first time.