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  • Writer's pictureBill Lewis

Of The Father's Heart Begotten

At Christmas we celebrate the greatest expression of our Father’s love, the Incarnation. Immanuel, “God with us.” The Father chose to send His one and only Son for our salvation. And, Jesus, the Son of God, chose to come, not only to redeem us but also to reconcile us, restore us, and release us to represent, reflect, and reveal our Father to a lost and hurting world.

This year I have been struck by the words of a 4th-century hymn written by a Roman poet, Aurelius Prudentius. I hope it stirs you, as it has me. Like Jesus, may we show others who our Father is!

Bethesda By The Sea wishes you and yours a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

Of the Father's love begotten,

Ere the worlds began to be,

He is Alpha and Omega,

He the source, the ending He,

Of the things that are, that have been,

And that future years shall see,

Evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framed;

He commanded; it was done:

Heaven and earth and depths of ocean

In their threefold order one;

All that grows beneath the shining

Of the moon and burning sun,

Evermore and evermore!

He is found in human fashion,

Death and sorrow here to know,

That the race of Adam's children

Doomed by law to endless woe,

May not henceforth die and perish

In the dreadful gulf below,

Evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessed,

When the virgin, full of grace,

By the Holy Ghost conceiving,

Bore the Savior of our race;

And the Babe, the world's Redeemer,

First revealed His sacred face,

evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him;

Angel hosts, His praises sing;

Powers, dominions, bow before Him,

and extol our God and King!

Let no tongue on earth be silent,

Every voice in concert sing,

Evermore and evermore!

This is He Whom seers in old time

Chanted of with one accord;

Whom the voices of the prophets

Promised in their faithful word;

Now He shines, the long expected,

Let creation praise its Lord,

Evermore and evermore!

Righteous Judge of souls departed,

Righteous King of them that live,

On the Father's throne exalted

None in might with Thee may strive;

Who at last in vengeance coming

Sinners from Thy face shalt drive,

Evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father,

And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,

Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving,

And unwearied praises be:

Honor, glory, and dominion,

And eternal victory,

Evermore and evermore!

Translation by JM Neale, extended by Henry W. Baker (1851/1861).

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