Written by Brian Johnson
When it comes to Christmas music, I’m mostly a traditionalist. Silent Night, Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing! – for Christmas, I want to sing the classics – words I know by heart, sung to tunes I’ve been hearing since I was a child.
But, occasionally, a new song finds its way into my Christmas favorites. Over the past decade, one of my favorite Christmas songs has been the (relatively) new Welcome to Our World, by Chris Rice.
Here are the lyrics:
Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
Welcome Holy Child; Welcome Holy Child
Hope that You don’t mind our manger
How I wish we could have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home
Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world; Welcome to our world
Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born; Unto us is born
So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sins and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world
There is so much profound theology wrapped up in those lyrics. It’s a statement of the truth of Christmas: that God joined us in our humanity – the mess of the stable, the difficulties of our flesh and blood. It’s a reminder that the adorable child whose birth we celebrate on Christmas day is also the adult who walked through fire – who suffered and died – in order to save us. It’s a reminder, though we praise God for the birth of Jesus each December, that the world didn’t actually welcome Jesus – when given the chance to welcome God into our midst, we put him to death instead. It is a song that proclaims this fundamental truth: we were (and are) desperate for God to save us, and so God answered our prayer, came to us, and offered us new life – no matter how much it hurt.
But instead of trying to explain the song, I invite you simply to listen to it. May these words draw your heart and mind towards the God who was born – who took on flesh – in order to set you free.
If you miss any of our daily readings, you can find them archived here. (Readings will be added each day.) We hope these readings will help you encounter God this season!