December 23, 2022

Christmas and Advent Hymns and their Story

“Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising”

The author, Paul Gerhart [1607-1676] believed that “singing allows something to be seen” – how true. Through the rich imagery of this hymn, Christians will “come and see” – the first words of Gerhart’s 1st and 3rd original stanzas; for the Savior in the Manger is here. We pray that the Christ child will be our last and final hope for eternity.
The author’s hope for all who see and sing this hymn, is that “they will not just see and confess that the Savior has been born, but that He has already freed them from sin, death, and the power of the devil.”
The trip to the manger shows God’s justifying power in Christ. Gerhart viewed Christ in the manger as did Luther, when the reformer composed “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come.”
The hymn is inspired by Luke 2:15 – “When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And then we know the response of the shepherds to the Good news in Luke 2:17 – “And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.”
What happened for the past 2,000+ years? The worthy of folk of Christendom raised their hearts and voices loudly to sing of love, not just because of the lovely vision of the Christ Child, but because He is Messiah – the Rock of our Salvation.
And so, at Christmas, the Christian Church joins the shepherds in singing, who even on Christmas night long ago before the events of Holy Week, “by faith grasp this blessing”; that is, they see their destiny in the “little child who shall lead them” [Isaiah 11:6].

Come, your hearts and voices raising, Christ the Lord with gladness praising;
Loudly sing His love amazing, worthy folk of Christendom.

LSB 375

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