12.25.2011

Christ; A Spotless Rose

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What a wonderful day and celebration of a generous and glorious gift from God. I hope each one of you is filled to the brim with joy and thankfulness on this day and that those sentiments spill over into all of your other days :)

Being musical in nature, I often find my most celebratory and touching moments come, on this day, through the form of music. I wanted to share a lesser-known Christmas song that is jam-packed with meaning for me.  I recorded an edited version on a MacBookPro while sitting in my car in a parking lot a year ago. How's that for... raw? Check it out at the end of the post if you're interested.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming, from tender stem hath sprung,
of Jesse's lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
The rose of which I'm singing, the rose I have in mind
is, from its sweet root, springing; the virgin mother kind.
In a cold winter's night, 
through God's great love and might,
She bore to man a savior.
The shephards heard the story, proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory, was born on earth this night,
O, flower whose fragrance, tender, with sweetness fills the air,
Dispel, with glorious splendor, the darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God, 
come share our every load,
From sin and death, now save us.


This song is originally German, called Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, and written by an anonymous author. It is often translated as "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" (as titled here), or "A Spotless Rose."  The second translation really strikes me.

It describes Jesus as a divine and perfect, spotless rose, in a world in which the rest of the garden is filled with stained and thorn-covered roses. Sound familiar? Wasn't Jesus born a divine and perfect human in a world in which the rest of us are stained and covered in thorns?

The more I sit here, thinking about it, I drift from Jesus' birth in a world filled with our stains and thorns to his death. Was he not crucified with thorny branches wrapped around his head? Was he not stained with blood as he took his final breaths? This perfect, divine incarnation of our Lord had not become thorny and stained; rather, as he left this world, he took away our thorns and our stains.

Why? So that we may have everlasting life! So that we may have perfect life. Drift back, for a moment, to how perfect and divine the rose is in this song. Spotless. It comes from a "sweet root" and its fragrance is tender and fills the air with so much sweetness that it dispels darkness


Does this not sound... well, heavenly? Of course it does! Because we were made for the garden in which that flower grew! In Eden, I think, all flowers are beautiful, stainless, and without thorns to prick an admirer. As each flower is perfect, sweet and fragrantly powerful, so are we meant to be, in Heaven. And, just as this flower has sprung from a sweet root, so are we sprung from God, our father, who gives us tender sweetness to emulate and show His love for others and help others grow.

What a wonderful thing. A perfect salvation begins with a spotless rose...


Take a listen :)

 Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming by carlytaylor

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