LSB 375: Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising – Christmastide

For this year’s (2020) Christmastide seasonal hymn, we have chosen LSB 375: Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising, by Paul Gerhardt (1607-76).  In his text, Gerhardt has given us a beautiful devotion on the response of the shepherds to the angels’ proclamation of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:15-17).  Like the shepherds, we too are invited to come in joy to Bethlehem and see Mary, Joseph and the Baby lying in a manger for us, and to tell everyone about that which we have witnessed.1 The Infant lying in the feeding trough is Christ Himself, descended from heaven to take our sin upon Himself, to die on the Cross to atone for it and rise again to declare us right with the Father, and worthy to sing His praise.  This Baby Jesus is Jacob’s star (Numbers 24:17), the Light of the World, who gives us the light of life, setting us free from the dark bondage of the evil one, sin, death and hell (Psalm 107:10-20; Isaiah 9:2-6, 61:1; Luke 2:29-32; John 8:12; 1 Peter 2:9).  The news out of Bethlehem grasped in The Faith brings greater joy than we can put into words (Luke 2:10; 1 Peter 1:8)!  In The Faith, Paul Gerhardt experienced this joy in spite of personal loss and devastation from war, the deaths of his wife and four of his five children, and revocation of his Divine Call due to his faithfulness to the Lutheran Confessions.  In The Faith, we too are free to experience this joy even in time of pandemic, and respond by confessing to our Lord that He is our Salvation (Psalm 107:21-22; Luke 1:68-71).  We pray to the Little Child of Bethlehem that, although we don’t deserve it, He keep us close to Himself, and lead us (Isaiah 11:6), until at last we join the heavenly chorus, singing His praise unto eternity (Revelation 5:13). 

For further devotional material on this hymn, we commend the entries for December 29, and January 1-5 in the Cause for Great Joy Advent devotional made available in the CLC Narthex. The material is also available for download at https://steadfastlutherans.org/parish/advent-devotional (accessed 7 December AD2020).  We are thankful that you are here today to receive God’s gifts in our midst and wish you a Christmastide of great joy and blessing.

Note:

  1. The LSB text, along with its immediate predecessor in LW 48, omit Gerhardt’s stanzas 2 and 3, which can be found in TLH 90.  In the original, the 3rd stanza begins, “See how God…”; thus, reflecting the, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see…” of Luke 2:15.

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