I was sitting in church on Sunday, actually I was playing guitar, when I was thinking about "What Child Is This." I love this song partially because I really like minor chords, but a few years ago I discovered the extra chorus that no one sings at Christmas:
Nails spear shall pierce Him thro'
The cross be borne for me for you
Hail hail the Word made flesh
The Babe the Son of Mary
People just don't sing that. It may be morbid to think about a child being born, only to be killed; but isn't that exactly why we are excited about the birth of the Christ-child? He is our Savior...that's why He came to the earth.
The other thing that I find interesting is the verse that precedes that chorus:
Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and
ass (I mean, "lamb") are feeding
Good Christian fear for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading
I get why we changed the word "ass" to "lamb." Honestly, it's a distraction to me as well...and you can forget about Junior High boys...they'd never be able to recover and focus back to worship!
There are all kinds of songs that I am very glad we update, mainly because I don't have any idea what an "Ebenezer" is or how exactly to "raise it."
However, just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it's not worth singing or seeking its intended meaning. As a matter of fact, I just learned that "raising my Ebenezer" in fact, is a reference to 1 Samuel 7 when Samuel was referencing God's faithfulness.
So, "here I raise my Ebenezer" is to recognize God's faithfulness in your life. Interesting huh? I may be rambling, but I just wonder how much we are missing in worship when we sing things that we don't understand? For now, though, I think I won't be using the word "ass" in church...just to be safe.
Bonus points for the first person to tell me what song "raise my Ebenezer" comes from! Leave it in the comments.
While you're at it, try your hand at raising an Ebenezer to remember God's faithfulness in 2012.