Consider What Our Good God For Us Has Done

This Christmas I want to introduce what may (or may not) be a new carol to you. Certainly it isn’t new. Some sources date it back to the 12th century, making it one of the oldest (European) carols still being sung. But I somehow managed not to hear it until a couple of years ago, on a recording of Yo Yo Ma and Alison Kraus. The music swept me away.

But what about the lyrics? I mean, that’s what really matters. So I listened carefully. Having been raised a traditional Protestant (potlucks, flannel-graphs, sword drills and all) my radar pinged with a reference to praying and Mary. But grammar and prepositions matter. The song encourages us to pray TO God WITH Mary, and I can get on board with that. We sing her Magnificat:

My soul will magnify the Lord
I rejoice in God my Savior
He has done great things for me

The lyrics – five verses of them – tell the story from Luke 2. Mary and Joseph unable to find lodging in Bethlehem, shepherds with their flocks, wise men following a star.

But it’s the first verse that’s my favorite, reminding us to consider well and bear in mind what our good God has done in sending His beloved Son.

Something I always need reminding of, in this Joy to the Whirled season.

~Julie Garrett

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born

The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town
But mark how all things came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox’s stall

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God’s angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Prepare and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you’ll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God’s angel had foretold
They did our Savior Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side the virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah was
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet


Merry Christmas!


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