Medieval Dutch Carol, Come and Stand Amazed

There are very few Christmas carols that do much for me when I hear them. They are either too silly, too light, too jingly, too superficial in theology, etc etc.


I found one that does it for me. Every time I hear it, I can’t help but tune everything out and meditate on the words with a humbled heart. Literally, my house could be on fire and I wouldn’t even notice it because this song brings Christ at the forefront of my thoughts and heart that nothing else matters. It’s that rich in theological truths!!! 

The Birth of Jesus
Gustave Doré, 1866.

For someone who used to detest old hymns accompanied by a plain solo piano….this one is far from an old stuffy stagnant hymn. I may be superficial when it comes to music…but great music accompanied by deep theological lyrics can bring me to my knees in repentance…or thankful tears….instantly….every time! 

I hope you enjoy it. I hope you mediate on it. I hope it reaches the depths of your heart as it does mine.


Come and stand amazed, you people,
See how God is reconciled!
See his plans of love accomplished,
See his gift, this newborn child.
See the Mighty, weak and tender,
See the Word who now is mute.
See the Sovereign without splendor,
See the Fullness destitute;
The Beloved, whom we covet,
In a state of low repute.

See how humankind received him;
See him wrapped in swaddling bands,
Who as Lord of all creation
Rules the wind by his commands.
See him lying in a manger
Without sign of reasoning;
Word of God to flesh surrendered,
He is wisdom’s crown, our King.
See how tender our Defender
At whose birth the angels sing.

O Lord Jesus, God incarnate,
Who assumed this humble form,
Counsel me and let my wishes
To your perfect will conform.
Light of life, dispel my darkness,
Let your frailty strengthen me;
Let your meekness give me boldness,
Let your burden set me free;
Let your sadness give me gladness,
Let your death be life for me.

—Medieval Dutch carol, translated by Klaas Hart (1906-1973), as collected in PROCLAIMING THE CHRISTMAS GOSPEL: ANCIENT SERMONS AND HYMNS FOR CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATION. Edited by John D. Witvliet and David Vroege. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004, page 99. ISBN 0-8010-6405-8

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