Wednesday, December 27, 2006


It has been a crazy Christmas season for me... I'll say more about it all in another post.

In this one, I'd like to share the lyrics to one of my favorite carols Some Children See Him written by Alfred Burt in 1951. Burt wrote a carol each year and included it in his Christmas card.

This one strikes me as having an aspect of theology that is unique to Christianity among all of the major religions - contextualization. One of the foundational ideas in Christianity is that God works in specific contexts. The incarnation is the primary example. Jesus was a peasant living in Israel under Roman rule subject to all of the cultural and historical constraints that implies. As Christianity grew, the incarnation was a model that allowed the faith to take different shapes in different cultural contexts. The specificity of the incarnation allows the faith to become universal and be expressed in every unique context. It allows the faith to adapt to different paradigms rather than force them to change. This was clearly seen when some of the early Christians wanted Gentile believers to become Jewish in order to follow Jesus, Paul argued that this was not necessary. The faith morphed for a new context.

Some children see Him lily white,
the baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white,
with tresses soft and fair.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav'n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
with dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
this Savior whom we kneel beside.
some children see Him almond-eyed,
with skin of yellow hue.
Some children see Him dark as they,
sweet Mary's Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
and, ah! they love Him, too!

The children in each different place
will see the baby Jesus' face
like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
and filled with holy light.
O lay aside each earthly thing
and with thy heart as offering,
come worship now the infant King.
'Tis love that's born tonight!

"tis love that's born tonight...

No comments: