Let Our Gladness Have No End (ELW 291)
1 Let our gladness have no end, alleluia!
For to earth did Christ descend, alleluia!
On this day God gave us
Christ, His Son, to save us;
Christ, His Son to save us.
2 Prophesied in days of old, alleluia!
God has sent Him as foretold, alleluia! [Refrain]
3 See, the loveliest blooming rose, alleluia!
From the branch of Jesse grows, alleluia! [Refrain]
4 Into flesh is made the Word, alleluia!
He, our refuge and our Lord, alleluia! [Refrain]
We often talk about Christmas as a story. Many of our hymns by contrast are a tapestry of poetry and music rather than a narrative. Not many Christmas carols have been inspired by the prologue to John’s Gospel, despite its poetic leanings. However, this hymn’s fourth verse does a beautiful job of capturing the essence of the first eighteen verses of John: “Into flesh is made the Word, Hallelujah! Our true refuge and our Lord. Hallelujah!”
Not only are the lyrics pure poetry, but the lively spirit of the tune and tempo make this song a celebration. On this the tenth day of Christmas, when holiday music may seem to have ceased almost everywhere, this song proclaims the reason for this Christmas season, and the presence and place of our proclamation to the world. “On this day God gave us Christ, the Son, to save us; Christ, the Son to save us.”
O God, whose angels first began to lift up praise to you in songs, help us to ever sing and rejoice in the gift of your son, our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.