Tenth Day of Christmas   10 comments

Above:  Adoration of the Shepherds, by Guido Reni, 1600s

(It is still Christmas.)

What Wondrous Love

JANUARY 3, 2024


1 John 3:1-16 (New Jerusalem Bible):

You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us

by letting us be called God’s children–

which is what we are!

The reason why the world does not acknowledge us

is that it did not acknowledge him.

My dear friends, we are already God’s children,

but what we shall be in the future has not yet been revealed.

We are well aware that when he appears

we shall be like him,

because we shall see him as he really is.

Whoever treasures this hope of him

purifies himself, to be as pure as he is.

Whoever sins, acts wickedly,

because all sin is wickedness.

Now that you are well aware that he has appeared in order to take sins away,

and that in him there is no sin.

No one who remains in him sins,

and whoever sins

has neither seen him nor recognized him.

Psalm 98:1, 4-6 (New Jerusalem Bible):

Sing a new song to Yahweh,

for he has performed wonders,

his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.

Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,

burst into shouts of joy!

Play to Yahweh on the harp,

to the sound of instruments;

to the sound of trumpet and horn,

acclaim the presence of the King.

John 1:29-34 (New Jerusalem Bible):

The next day, he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming towards him and said,

Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.  It was of him I said, “Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.”  I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptize with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.

And John declared,

I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him.  I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptize with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit.”  I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.

The Collect:

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


As I typed the assigned lessons from the Episcopal lectionary for Christmas, I knew that the best commentary and devotional based on them was a hymn, “What Wondrous Love.”  So I share the words of this 1835 hymn of U.S. origin with you, O reader.


Written on June 7, 2010


1.  What wondrous love is this,

O my soul, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this,

O my soul!

What wondrous love is this

that caused the  Lord of bliss

to lay aside his crown

for my soul, for my soul,

to lay aside his crown

for my soul.

2.  To God and to the Lamb,

I will sing, I will sing,

to God and to the Lamb,

I will sing.

To God and to the Lamb

who is the great I AM,

while millions join the theme,

I will sing, I will sing,

while millions join the theme

I will sing.

3.  And when from death I’m free,

I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,

and when from death I’m free,

I’ll sing on.

And when from death I’m free

I’ll sing and joyful be,

and through eternity,

I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,

and through eternity

I’ll sing on.


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