One of the most favorite Christmas Carols is William Chatterton Dix’s “What Child is This?” At the age of twenty-nine, Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months. He went into a deep depression. Out of this near-death experience, Dix wrote many hymns, including ‘What Child is This?”. Written in 1865, Dix made use of powerful word pictures that still speak one hundred and forty-one years later:
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?
What is it about the Christmas story that keeps capturing our hearts year after year? What child is this?
Why does this baby on Mother Mary’s lap win the attention of billions of people every December? Why angels? Why shepherds? What child is this?
One of the strangest things about the Christmas story is the birthplace of the Christmas child in a cattle shed. What kind of place is that to celebrate Christmas? It wasn’t even sanitary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
There is something about the Christmas Child that will not go away, that cannot be avoided, that is inescapably part of Canadian culture.
What Child is this anyways? William Chatterton Dix’s Carol had this response:
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
What Child is this? Why do wise men still seek him?
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
This Christmas, may loving hearts enthrone the Christmas Child. May loving hearts welcome this Child into their homes, their lives, their souls.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-previously published in the North Shore News/Deep Cove Crier
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.