“What Child Is This?” Christmas Devotional

Christmas, Devotion

December 18

“What Child Is This” by Chris Tomlin and All Sons and Daughters

What Child is this who laid to rest

On Mary’s lap is sleeping

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet

While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing!

Haste, haste to bring Him laud

The Babe the Son of Mary

So bring Him incense gold and myrrh

come peasant King to own Him

The King of kings salvation brings,

let loving hearts Enthrone Him

Raise, raise a a song on high!

The virgin sings her lullaby

Joy, joy for Christ is born

The Babe, the Son of Mary!

This, this is Christ the King

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing!

Haste, haste to bring Him laud

The Babe the Son of Mary

Nails, spears shall pierce Him through

The Cross He bore for me, for you

Hail, hail the Word made flesh the Babe

The Son of Mary

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Today’s Devotion

As we begin, take just a moment to try to imagine Jesus as a baby. Maybe you have had a child before, and if so, use that as a foundation for your thoughts. I know that when I had my babies, I wondered what they would like (and am still wondering since they are both 2 and under)! But looking into the purest form of innocence can bring an awe you never knew existed.

Through out my life, I was never the girl who was drawn to babies. Instead, I always found myself more interested in teenagers, hence why I did youth ministry for so long and started professionally at such the young age of 21. It wasn’t until I had a baby of my own that it all made sense to me why people love babies so much! There is such a hope, promise and an unbelievable miracle in the reality that another human has been born. Babies, by their very nature, draw people to them.

Now, can you imagine the draw to others Jesus had as a baby, since he was both God and a human being.

We know from Scripture that people were captivated by Jesus when he was a baby. In Luke 2, we read of the shepherds being called to see Jesus:

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Next, take a look at what happened when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to be purified according to the Law of Moses:

Luke 2:22-40 NIV

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Look at how people responded to this child! They knew who he was even as a baby.

The question we leave with you today, is what do you know of this baby, who grew up into the man we worship as the Son of God? What has he done in your life? What is he longing to do in your life today? We are all fallen and need him even stronger at times, no matter how close we already are to God. Turn to God today and seek him in this way. I hope that this song, “What Child Is This?” will serve as a prayer practice for you today.

Prayer

God,

Thank you for the miracle of babies. Today I personally celebrate the amazing and astonishing birth of my baby girl, Lucy, who is truly a miracle. Babies give us hope and they give us a glimpse into what true innocence and holiness looks like. God, you came as a baby. There is significance in this, great significance.

Father, may my eyes for babies draw me to you, and even more, Lord, may I see all humans, old and young, as babies. For we all are your creation, and we all reflect your hand. This world is harsh and people make bad choices, but God help me to remember that they once were innocent babies and help me to see people as you see them. Thank you for sending Jesus as a baby. This baby ended up doing amazing, terrific, redeeming things for this world and for me. Throughout history, you have remained constant and faithful to your people, and I pray that I can boldly step into that journey with you. You are an amazing God, and you do amazing things with your people. Amen.

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Christmas, Christian, Devotion

Alexis Waid

Alexis Waid

Alexis is a wife, mother, theologian, speaker and spiritual director.
Alexis Waid

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A devotional based off the Christmas song What Child Is This? Day 18 of the 25 Days of Christmas Worship Song Devotions.