See amid the winter’s snow
Born for us on earth below
See the tender Lamb appears
Promised from eternal years

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn
Sing through all Jerusalem
Christ is born in Bethlehem

This English carol was written by Edward Caswell in the middle of the 19th century. It was originally a seven-verse poem, created as a dialogue between the readers and the shepherds. When John Goss, the organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Professor of the Royal Academy in London, composed music for it, the carol became popular throughout Britain and across the British Empire.

The hymn tells the story of the nativity from the viewpoint of the shepherds and captures their wonder and joy when they see Jesus. The refrain to each verse continually adds to that excitement by declaring Christmas Day to be the dawn of redemption for the whole world.

Points to ponder

How would I tell the story of Christ’s Birth if I had been a shepherd? When I hear or share the Christmas story, does it still excite me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Redeemer of the World and the Savior of our souls. Your birth changed the history of humankind forever. We thank You for the gracious gifts of forgiveness and redemption which restore us completely to God. In Your Holy Name, we thankfully pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Nativity drawings called ‘Promised Child.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.

You can listen to Scottish singer Annie Lennox powerfully sing this wonderful hymn on YouTube: