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Jesus in my heart

December 20, 2017 No Comment

President Thomas Prachar

by Thomas Prachar

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.
– The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH) 85:13

This is my favourite verse from Luther’s Christmas hymn, “Vom Himmel Hoch,” or “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come.” In the first five stanzas, Luther has the angel proclaim the message of Jesus’ birth. The remaining nine stanzas contain the response of the shepherds, as well as what this all means for a sinful world.

If one were to speak this stanza instead of singing it, I’ve always imagined that the first word, “Ah,” would be spoken with reverence and wonder, almost with a sigh of relief as we behold the Christ Child. He is true man and true God, and therefore even though born of a sinful virgin Mary, yet He is holy, sinless, for He was conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Believing that this Child is holy, a request is made: that He make a bed, soft, undefiled, within my heart. Yes, holy Jesus, with the forgiveness and salvation from sin and death You have earned for me, give me new life by changing my heart of cold indifference. In fact, it is a dead heart, really, for naturally all manner of evil comes out of it (Matthew 15:19). Holy Child, make Yourself at home in that changed heart. Make it alive, and get comfy there! Turn it into a heart that is tuned to Your will.

Holy Child, make Yourself at home in that changed heart. Make it alive, and get comfy there! Turn it into a heart that is tuned to Your will.

When all the problems and frustrations of life afflict me, even at Christmas time, I know that my Saviour Jesus not only “has my back,” but more importantly, He has my heart. As I celebrate another Christmas without a beloved family member, Jesus is the One to calm my longings to see the person again. As my heart aches for those who suffer all manner of problems and self-inflicted pains, the holy Child soothes me with the assurance that in the end, He will work in His time and manner for the good of all involved. When I face my own physical pains and anxieties, He reassures me that I have nothing to fear for, come what may, He will make me whole and perfect in heaven.

To that, all I can say is:

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto us His Son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth.
– TLH 85:15


Rev. Thomas Prachar is President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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