Monday, December 4, 2017

It Came a Flower Bright


[Photo of snow covered rose]

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”
—Isaiah 11:1
“I am a rose of Sharon.”
—Song of Songs 2:1

It came, a Flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

You may recognize the words of this Christmas Carol sung by many people from as far back as the 14th century. The images portrayed in this hymn give us a sense of something unexpected, welcomed in the coldest and darkest time of year.

This beautiful meditation reminds us that in our most sinful and hopeless state, Jesus came to us with salvation. This coming also quietly and largely unexpectedly appeared in the most undesirable of locations, in a most unconventional way: the birth of a Baby to a peasant, unmarried teenage girl, into poverty, and in a stable.

That night still surrounds us. But, we can continue to welcome the Light of the World. Even in our darkest hours, He comes to us with His beauty and shocking favors, through that same Flower of long ago.

Meditate this season on the ways Christ has come to you in the dead and cold of night with His light and His fragrance, as a rose blooming in winter. Read and rejoice in these words:

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load.2


1 German Carol. Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming. Public domain.
2 Ibid. Verse three.