When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heav’n for to sing,
He surely could have it, ’cause he was the King.
Words and Music are a Traditional Appalachian Hymn, compiled in 1933 by John Jacob Niles
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5 – 8
I love to get away from the busyness and noise of daily life. I have been this way my whole life. I grew up on a farm and spent many hours just wandering in the grove that was on the property. Things haven’t really changed that much. I still like to get away into nature. This is why I so enjoy camping and hiking. The opportunity to get away from everything and find a peaceful time of reflection.
It’s something we all need, to take the time away to reflect, so at Christmastime it seems fitting to take the time of reflection to consider the events of Christmas and their full meaning. This is the theme found in the old Appalachian hymn, “I Wonder as I Wander.” No author nor composer is known for this hymn but its haunting melody draws us into the words inviting us to reflect on them.
So we consider “How Jesus the Savior did come for to die. For poor on’ry people like you and like I.” That was it, His reason for coming. Mark 10:45 tells us, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Yes, this is the reason He came, and not just to save the righteous, He came to save “poor on’ry people like you and like I.” This is why: Paul tells us in Romans 5:8 that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He came to die on behalf of us, who seem nothing but trouble to Him.
The hymn goes on to discuss with us that, Jesus was born “in a cow’s stall.” It reminds us that He was surrounded by farmers and shepherds. Yet, despite this lowly setting, he was a King. As a King, everything was within His realm. Imagine a King, someone with the right to whatever He chooses, but who enters the world through such a humble setting. He is a King who has willingly put himself within our reach. (Philippians 2:5 – 8)
So as we find ourselves in this Christmas season, we reflect on the full meaning of God’s gift to is. We take time to step away from our hectic lives. So we sing the words with a new meaning, “I wonder as I wander out under the sky.”
Read more about “I Wonder as I Wander.”