Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.
He came down to earth from Heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.
And, through all His wondrous childhood,
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.
For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.
And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in Heav’n above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.
Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in Heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.
Words by Cecil F. Alexander, 1848
Music by Henry J. Gauntlett, 1849
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
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.
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.
Philippians 2:6 – 7
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND
Acts 2:32 – 34
We all have those people we admire. People who have made an impression on us for some reason. It might be a parent. Perhaps it is a teacher who went out of their way to help their students. Sometimes it’s someone we have not met but we look up to them as an example such as historical figures or famous people who we see as an example of what we can do or be.
Now stop and think about the fact that these people were once children. They were born into this world just like each of us. From their birth the potential was in them, but no one could have seen what they would do, who they would become. In a nit unfamiliar way the Savior was born into this world and grew just as each of us. He entered into this world as an infant child. This is the theme of “Once In Royal David’s City.”
In her hymn Cecil Alexander reminds us that Jesus began his life in this world like each of us, through birth. The reality of the matter is that he was born in a more humble circumstance that most any of us. Born in a stable and laid in a manger for his bed.
Before going any further though, Alexander reminds us that while Jesus was born into this world, he existed before. She writes, “He came down to earth from Heaven, Who is God and Lord of all.” This Jesus who was laid in the manger, is God who existed before the world began. (John 17:5) Yet he came to dwell among us (John 1:14) that we might know Him.
Yet, though he was God he set aside what was rightfully his and was born a baby. (Philippians 2:6 – 7) The hymn then proceeds to remind us that Jesus experienced life in the same way we do. “Day by day, like us He grew; He was little, weak and helpless, Tears and smiles like us He knew; And He feeleth for our sadness, And He shareth in our gladness.” Jesus, God who existed before the world, experienced all the joys, sorrows and temptations that we know. As a result he know our struggles. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
When we turn to Him as our High Priest. When we put our faith and trust in him, we can find confidence in knowing that we will one day see His face. (Revelation 22:4) “Not in that poor lowly stable, With the oxen standing by, We shall see Him; but in Heaven, Set at God’s right hand on high.”
Read more about “Once In Royal David’s City.”