Saturday, December 22, 2012

Advent 2012

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2012

 

Tell Me the Story of Jesus

 

             One of my favorite Christmas carols will not be found in the Advent/Christmas section of a hymnal.  Yet its very name, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," does exactly what I believe carols ought to do - point us to the coming of Jesus the Christ.  The writer of the lyrics is Fanny J. Crosby, a prolific writer who was blind from the age of six weeks.  The tune was written by John Sweeney.  It was published in 1880.

 

The three stanzas of this hymn tell of Jesus' birth, his life, and his death and resurrection.  I grew up singing this hymn often - so often, in fact, that when I sing it today, I put aside the hymnal and let the words just flow from within.

 

Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word.

Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.

Tell how the angels, in chorus, sang as they welcomed his birth,

"Glory to God in the highest!  Peace and good tidings to earth."

 

Fasting alone in the desert, tell of the days that are past,

How for our sins he was tempted, yet was triumphant at last.

Tell of the years of his labor, tell of the sorrow he bore.

He was despised and afflicted, homeless, rejected, and poor.

 

Tell of the cross where they nailed him, writhing in anguish and pain.

Tell of the grave where they laid him, tell how he liveth again.

Love in that story, so tender, clearer than ever I see.

Stay, let me weep while you whisper, love paid the ransom for me.

 

Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word.

Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.

 

It seems to me that just as the birth of a child is just the beginning of a life, Jesus' birth was just the beginning of the story.  It wasn't his birth that brought us life eternal.  It was his death and resurrection.  The Christmas story comes to its fruition in an empty tomb.  Thanks be to God for the "story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard."

 

- Carolyn Hale Cubbedge

 

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