Tonight Is Born (Or Tonight We Commemorate)

“Many ages after God created the heavens and the earth, when man and woman were formed in God’s own image; long after the great flood when God set the rainbow in the clouds as a sign of the covenant.

Twenty-one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah; thirteen centuries after Moses led God’s people to freedom and Miriam danced in celebration; eleven centuries from the time of Ruth and the judges; a thousand years from the anointing of David as king; in fulfillment of the times and years and months and days discerned by the prophets; in the sixty-fifth week as Daniel’s prophecy takes note;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty-second year from
the founding of the city of Rome; the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus; in the sixth age of the world, all earth being at peace,

Jesus Christ, eternal God, Son of the eternal Father, willing to hallow the world, and desiring to reconcile the world to God by his most merciful coming, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and growing to term in the womb of his mother, was born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judea.

This night is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, God made flesh!”

-Augsburg Fortress, edited.

Hope Has Come

Let us join with the angel voices
Let us join their happy song
All of heaven and earth rejoices
For the Lamb of God has come
He has come to rescue sinners
Come to meet our desperate need
He was born to bring forgiveness
Born for Calvary

Alleluia, Hope has come
Alleluia, Christ has come
We once were slaves in misery
Till You appeared and set us free
Alleluia, Hope has come

Let us lay our gifts before Him
Let us magnify His Name
With our thankful hearts adore Him
For the Lord has come to save
He has come to break sin’s power
He has come to set us free
Hope was born that glorious hour
Christ the mighty King

-Stephen Altrogge, 

© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

Earth has Many a Noble City

Earth has many a noble city;
Bethlehem, thou dost all excel;
Out of thee the Lord from Heaven
Came to rule His Israel.

Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the star that told His birth,
To the world its God announcing
Seen in fleshly form on earth.

Eastern sages at His cradle
Make oblations rich and rare;
See them give, in deep devotion,
Gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh His sepulcher foreshows.

Jesu, whom the Gentiles worshipped
At Thy glad Epiphany,
Unto Thee, with God the Father
And the Spirit, glory be.

-Aurelius Prudentius (348-413), O sola magnarum urbium.
Translated by Edward Caswall

Of the Father’s Love

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framèd; He commanded; it was done:
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean in their threefold order one;
All that grows beneath the shining
Of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore!

He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know,
That the race of Adam’s children doomed by law to endless woe,
May not henceforth die and perish
In the dreadful gulf below, evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessèd, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

This is He Whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long expected,
Let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing, evermore and evermore!

Righteous judge of souls departed, righteous King of them that live,
On the Father’s throne exalted none in might with Thee may strive;
Who at last in vengeance coming
Sinners from Thy face shalt drive, evermore and evermore!

Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

-Aurelius Prudentius, (348-413), Corde natus ex parentis,
Translated by John M. Neale and Henry W. Baker

One King

In the beginning there was the Word
Pure love was spoken to reach every man
They stopped and listened but all that they heard
Was a language that they could not understand.
No joy, no peace, no hope insight
So He came with starlight and love in His eyes
No regal welcome for His infant cry
There have been many babies to become a king
But only one King became a baby
He left behind His throne of pure light
Gave up His crown that we might be free
He chose a manger that Bethlehem night
And reaching through time and space He saw me
No joy, no peace, no hope insight
So He came with starlight and love in His eyes,
No regal welcome for His infant cry
There have been many babies to become a king
But only one King became a baby
He could have chosen to break through the sky
With anthem and angel wing
But He knew we’d understand a baby’s cry
And learn love from a servant king
So He came with starlight and love in His eyes,
No regal welcome for His infant cry
There have been so many babies to become a king
But only one King became a baby.
-David Phelps, 2007