What Child Is This?
December 24, 2023
Why is the Christmas carol “What Child Is This” so meaningful to us? Yes, it links a beautiful tune with inspiring words. But it is more than that. It is in the vision behind and beyond the tune and text where we find the deeper truths.
When we sing “What Child Is This,” we sing of a flesh-and-blood human, born under the most vulnerable of conditions. We sing of Emmanuel, “God with us.”
When we sing “What Child Is This,” we are reminded of infants born in our own life stories, our congregational communities and beyond, down the street and around the world.
The words “so bring him incense, gold and myrrh” remind us not only of the gifts the Magi offered to the baby Jesus — the perfect gift — but also how we can support those whom God loves with our own gifts.
With the words “the babe, the Son of Mary,” we sing of all those who are vulnerable and in need, which includes those who receive support from the Christmas Joy Offering. Emergency and health assistance and educational opportunities are real, human needs — needs that we can help meet.
The Christmas Joy Offering supports retired ministers and church workers and their families through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions as they face medical and emergency costs.
The Offering also supports students in Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color, as they pursue their education and prepare to bring their gifts in service to the church and world.
Thank you for your generous gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering, and your ongoing prayers for all those it supports. Your gifts make a difference, and bring praise to the babe, the son of Mary.
Rev. Dr. John Wilkinson, Director of Ministry Engagement and Support, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 24, 2023, Christmas Eve (Year B)
Today’s Focus: Christmas Eve/Christmas Joy Offering
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Loving God, we thank you for the good news of Christmas, and Jesus, the perfect gift. As we hasten to “bring him laud” with loving hearts, bless our gifts and bless our giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, that needs may be met, and that all may know your love. Amen.