What Child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring Him laud – the Babe, the Son of Mary.
Another of my favorite carols, What Child is This brings with it a new, deeper understanding of Christ’s birth with each passing year.
The same question asked in this well-loved carol must have been uppermost in the minds of those present at Jesus’ birth.
What makes this child any different from every other child born to man? What makes him so special?
We can almost hear the plethora of questions the shepherds, wise men and people of Jesus’ day may have asked. We’d be asking them too if we walked a mile in their shoes.
We still ask those questions, and probably more, today.
Throughout the centuries, men have pondered and continue to ask who Jesus really is.
How could he be fully God and fully man?
Is it even possible?
Only through the divine comes the truest answer. Only through God’s Word and the indwelling of His Spirit comes the answer.
This thoughtful text/carol was written by William C. Dix, one of our finest lay hymn writers. While he was a successful insurances salesman in Glasgow, Scotland, he was stricken with a sudden serious illness at the age of 29.
If that isn’t inspiring…
Dix was confined to a bed for an extended period of time and suffered deep depression until he called out to God and met Him in a new and very real way.
It was out of that spiritual experience that he wrote many artistic and distinctive hymns, including this delightful carol. It was taken from a longer Christmas poem, “The Manger Throne,” penned by Dix in 1865 and applied to the melody of “Greensleeves” shortly after.
May you find the answers to your questions when it comes to Christ Jesus this Christmas. Spend some extra time in His Word and ask that His Spirit reveal the truth of who He is to you.