WEEK TWO | DAY THREE | JOHN 1:1-14
Jesuit priest Father Jean de Brébeuf wrote this song in the Huron language in 1643, setting it to the tune of an old French song. It’s considered the first Canadian Christmas carol, and the first to enter the tribe’s oral tradition. When telling the story of the Nativity, Father de Brébeuf used symbols that could be easily understood within the culture of the Hurons.
‘TWAS IN THE MOON OF WINTERTIME, WHEN ALL THE BIRDS HAD FLED,
GREAT SPIRIT, LORD OF ALL THE EARTH SENT ANGEL CHOIRS INSTEAD.
BEFORE THEIR LIGHT THE STARS GREW DIM
AND WANDERING HUNTERS HEARD THE HYMN …
WITHIN A LODGE OF BROKEN BARK THE TENDER BABE WAS FOUND.
A RAGGED ROBE OF RABBIT SKIN ENWRAPPED HIS BEAUTY ROUND.
BUT AS THE HUNTERS BRAVE DREW NIGH
THE ANGEL SONG RANG LOUD AND HIGH …
O CHILDREN OF THE FOREST FREE, THE ANGEL SONG IS TRUE:
THE HOLY CHILD OF EARTH AND HEAVEN IS BORN TODAY FOR YOU.
COME KNEEL BEFORE THE RADIANT BOY
WHO BRINGS YOU BEAUTY, PEACE, AND JOY.
Christian leaders on the frontier today continue to contextualize the Gospel, laboring to bring its message to life within the cultural context and language of each distinct people group on earth. Light of Hope Ministry Ethiopia (LOHME), whose teacher-evangelists live in the villages they serve, celebrated last year the completion of the Arsi Oromo Bible—a translation 15+ years in the making. Through this effort and the living testimony of LOHME’s team, the Arsi Oromo people are gaining access to the Gospel in a beautifully contextualized way.
Pray for LOHME and other Christ-followers on the frontier, asking God to guide efforts to accurately translate the Bible and wisely contextualize the Gospel—that all peoples may clearly hear and understand the Good News of Jesus!