The final Christmas hymn for this installment of our Season in Song Christmas series was chosen by Rev. Alan Ludwig. Rev. Ludwig serves in Siberia, Russia. There he serves as a Theological Educator assisting The Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC) in teaching at the seminary there, helping to further develop theological education and serving in other countries in the area as needed. Rev. Ludwig chose “We Praise You, Jesus, At Your Birth” (LSB 382).
Rev. Ludwig says:
There are many fine Christmas hymns, yet more and more I have come to love this hymn of Luther above all others in our service books. Some hymns of Christmas retell the narrative of Christ’s birth. Some reflect on the incarnation. Others emphasize the salvific meaning for us of Christ’s coming. Still others highlight our joyous response to God’s gracious gift of His only-begotten Son. “We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth” contains something of all these elements.
In a most uncommon way, Luther’s hymn confesses the unfathomable mystery of the incarnation. This tiny Child in the manger is true God from eternity and remains the Almighty One even in His humility: “Upon her lap content is He / Who keeps the earth and sky and sea” (v. 3). The Eternal One became poor that we might be rich. He came “To lead us from this world of cares / To heaven’s courts as blessed heirs” (v. 5). “Therefore, all Christendom, rejoice / And sing His praise with endless voice. Alleluia” (v. 7).
In this video, see beautiful images and hear Rev. Dr. Christopher S. Ahlman playing a chorale treatment of the tune: “Gelobet Seist du, Jesu Christ” BWV 604. Thank you again to Rick Steenbock for creating the video!
Here are a few sample verses of the hymn:
We praise You, Jesus, at Your birth;
Clothed in flesh You came to earth.
The Virgin bears a sinless boy
And all the angels sing for joy. Alleluia!
The Light Eternal, breaking through,
Made the world to gleam anew;
His beams have pierced the core of night,
He makes us children of the light. Alleluia!
All this for us our God has done
Granting love through His own Son.
Therefore, all Christendom, rejoice
And sing His praise with endless voice. Alleluia!
LSB 382: 1, 4 and 7
- Listen to/see the videos for “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “What Child Is This?”.
- Learn more about or support Rev. Alan Ludwig.
- Learn more about the SELC.