What Are You Singing? ‘What Child Is This’
What rekindles our worship and wonder, causing us to reflect and repent, prompting us to hope and rejoice in this particular season of Advent? Perhaps the same spirit that moved abolitionists, advocates, and allies to pen our favorite holiday hymns can remind us of our reasons to rejoice.
”What Child Is This?” begs listeners to contemplate the common, investigate the ordinary, and marvel at the miracle of heaven’s majesty embodied in a vulnerable baby. Written in 1865, during overlapping pandemics in England, William Chatterton Dix contemplated this mystery of God entering our world through frailty as Dix himself was gravely ill.
Why lies He in such a mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Rather than romanticize the manger, “What Child Is This?” questions the condition where we find God’s child, and reminds us it’s the humble, the young mother, the turned-away traveler, and the working poor who are entrusted to watch over God’s greatest gift. It is our privilege to recognize God with them.