Reflection on a Christmas Carol

December 25, 2016

My favorite carol of all time is What Child Is This, both for its wonderful melody and for its beautiful lyrics. Both the tune and the lyrics have a haunting quality to them- haunting meaning that there is something spiritual looking to connect with you, or hunting you. Unfortunately, most modern renditions change the lyrics to make it nicer. They treat the second half of the first verse as the refrain, and ignore the parts about Jesus suffering and dying. But the that’s the part that sets it apart.


We’ll start with the second half of the second refrain. The words nails, spears shall pierce him through/ the cross be borne for me, for you sets Christmas- the nativity of Jesus- in its proper place. Just like the nails and spears pierced Christ, those words pierce me, run me through. The