December is upon us. It’s a beautiful month of sights, smells, lights and warmth. A month where Jesus’ name comes ringing over the store speakers and airwaves and a time when neighbors exchange goodies and warm handshakes and wish each other happy Christmases. The name of Jesus, a name that normally provokes disagreement, suddenly becomes common and even celebrated. Perhaps that baby in the manger is welcomed, as long as He remains, a tiny, non-threatening, infant…? But friends, you and I know that Christmas is not about a benign, sunshiny, happy go lucky, baby Jesus. It is about the glory of the Incarnation. The sovereign King and Son of the Most Holy God was born of a virgin. He who made all worlds with a word and formed our flesh, put on that same flesh and lowered Himself, even to the ugliest death imaginable. He accomplished what we could never accomplish and inherited all our transgressions and demerits. He reversed the curse! And now He is coming again– “Our glorious, mighty Redeemer, see Him victorious over each foe!” Any amount of “Fa la la la las” fail to cover how gloriously powerful and majestic this God-man is.
This month’s hymn may be titled “Christ in the Manger,” but it certainly does not leave Jesus there. It was written by a Scottish woman named Mary Macdonald (1789-1872), who would often sit at her spinning wheel and pass the time by singing hymns and poems and composing some of her own. She titled this one, “Leanabh an àigh, an Leanabh aig Màiri,” and set it to a common tune of her day–a tune that may be familiar to us, thanks to Cat Stevens and a song that was much later attached to it: Morning has Broken. But if this is a new and unfamiliar song for you and your family, listen below or through our Christmas Hymn playlist so you can sing it with confidence.
If you are new to the HOTM community, welcome! We encourage you to gather up your families for just a few minutes each day, to sing, discuss and memorize this hymn, whether it is during family worship, or before bedtime – whatever works best for your family. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Please let us know if you’ll be joining in!
Don’t forget to print this month’s Printable!