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, bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, 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!
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!
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!
Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring, 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!
Words by Aurelius Prudentius, 5th century (Latin) translated to english by John Neale, 1854
Music by Sanctus trope, 11th Century
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him
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 of 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 2:6 – 8
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
Luke 1:26 – 37
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”
Matthew 1:20 – 23
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Who am I?” “Where do I come from?” At some point in our lives we all ask these questions. Ultimately, however, the question we are really wanting answered is, “Why am I here?” But if the question we want answered is, “Why am I here?” why do we ask the other questions? We ask them because we believe that we can find meaning in knowing where we come from. We think we can find purpose in understanding who we are.
For those of us who know Christ, however, the question is not “Who am I” but “Who is Jesus?” because those of us who know Him, find our true identity in Him. Our purpose is found in knowing the one we call our Savior. So who is Jesus? Who is this one that we call Savior? In the ancient hymn, “Of The Father’s Love Begotten” we are presented with the answer.
The answer to the question is many fold and begins in the first line, “Of the Fathers Love Begotten.” Jesus has come from the Father. He was sent by God. (John 1:14) This is not to say that he is a creation of God, but that he is of the same essence with the Father. For he has no beginning or end. In Revelation 22:13 Jesus declares, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the end.”
The answer to “who is Jesus” continues as we move on. The hymn reads, “At His Word the worlds were framed.” We are told that it was Jesus who laid out the world. He is the creator of all thing. This truth is found in Colossians 1:16 where we read, “For in him all things were created.”
And while He is the eternal God, the creator of all things, the hymn continues by telling us that, “He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know.” He took on human form and suffered and died. Philippians 2:8 tells us that, “being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
But the human form was not simply an outward appearance, he had become fully human. The hymn reminds us of this when it says “O that birth forever blessed, when the virgin, full of grace, By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race.” He was physically born, just as any person, through the miraculous movement of the Spirit upon Mary. So we are reminded of the truth the angel declared to Mary in Luke 1:26 – 37 ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.’ . . . ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ . . . The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.'” He was born, and for a reason, to save people from their sins. The angel told this to Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Who is Jesus? He is the eternal God. He is the creator of all things. He is the baby born in the manger. He is the Savior of the world who died on the cross. He is the one of whom the prophets foretold. (Matthew 1:22) He is the King upon the throne.(Matthew 19:28)
When we come to understand who he is, we can know why we are here. We are here to serve him. We are here to glorify His name. When we realize this, all we do is done to praise His name. It is with this realization that we can proclaim, “Let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore!”
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