Christmas Hope

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On this rainy Christmas Eve, I wanted to share the lyrics to a lesser known carol from a book of Latin carols circa the mid-1500s.

Over the Hill and Over the Dale

By J.M. Neale

Over the hill and over the dale
Came three kings together,
Caring nought for snow and hail,
Cold and wind and weather.
Now on Persia’s sandy plain,
Now where Tigris swells with rain,
They their camels tether.
Now through Syrian lands they go,
Now through Moab, faint and slow,
Now o’er Edom’s heather.

Over the hill and over the dale
Each king bears a present,
Wise men go, a child to hail,
Monarchs seek a peasant.
And in front, a star proceeds,
Over rocks and rivers leads,
Shines with beams incessant.
Therefore onward, onward still,
Ford the stream and climb the hill;
Love makes all things pleasant.

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He is God ye go to meet,
Therefore incense proffer;
He is King ye go to greet,
Gold is in your coffer.
Also, man, he comes to share
Every grief that man can bear,
Tempter, railer, scoffer.
Therefore now, against the day,
In the grave when Him they lay,
Myrrh ye also offer.
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Over the hill and over the dale
Riding east together,
Caring nought for snow and hail,
Nought for wind and weather.
Warned by God from Herod’s door
Each king turns for home once more,
Hearts and footsteps lighter.
Now behind them shines the star
Which they followed from afar,
Shining ever brighter

I love this line in particular: “Also man He came to share every grief that man can bear”.

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I am aware of many, many grieving people this holiday season, even as I remember my own brother. Celebrating the incarnation of a Savior who steps into that reality, bears our griefs and carries our sorrow is a glorious comfort. These are good tidings of great joy, indeed. Happy Christmas!

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