Monday, December 17, 2007

Wordsmiths: Corde Natus ex Parentis

During Christmas we celebrate the mystery of God made man, capable of hunger and weariness and suffering and sickness and even death. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, in a dirty, smelly stable! Christ's birth reveals to us God's sacrificial love. Jesus himself made the incredibly bold statement: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9) If true, what an explosive claim! Of those convinced, the fourth century historian Eusebius could write, "How many psalms and how many songs, which from the beginning were written by pious brothers, sing about Christ as the Logos of God and confess that He is God."

I'll let Mark Noll introduce today's wordsmith:

'One of the most highly regarded Latin poets of Christian antiquity, Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, left prominent government office at age fifty-seven to retire to a monastery and dedicate the rest of his life to serving God by writing hymns and poems. His Christian hymn Corde natus ex Parentis (Of the Father's love begotten) expresses in lyric form what the ecclesiastical councils hammered out in doctrinal propositions: Jesus is fully divine, coequal with the Father (harking back to the Nicene Creed), and fully human, being born as a baby (anticipating the Chalcedonian definition).'

Of the Father's love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see.
Evermore and evermore.

O that birth for ever blessed!
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
First revealed his sacred face,
Evermore and evermore.

O ye heights of heaven, adore him;
Angel hosts, his praises sing;
Powers, dominions bow before him,
And extol our God and King;
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring,
Evermore and evermore.

Labels: , ,

Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link