Gift of New Sight

from "Hold the Child Gently", a Christmas Cantata

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: PARSONS

Lyrics as Poetry

Like hoarfrost that sparkles
on winter-bare trees,
like gentle caressing
of springtime’s sweet breeze,
the mystery of Christmas
with sparkle and light
transfigures our world
and gives gift of new sight.

In visions and dreamings
we’ve sought what is found,
the humblest of places
becomes holy ground.
A cry in the night
alerts all who would see
how near comes God’s promise
to you and to me.

Consider the wonder
and pause at the grace
of life giving love
touching all time and space.
God’s love has been spoken
in birth of a son
and new day on earth
has now surely begun.

In stillness receive
the rich gift of this night,
God’s flesh taking love
puts all evil to flight.
The Christ that was born
in that now distant hour
still offers God’s promise
with its healing power.

This child will bear cross
and this child will wear crown,
the weak will be lifted,
the proud be thrown down.
God’s love which is justice,
God’s love which is life
draws people together
and silences strife.

Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1974 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

A Reflection by

For me, Christmas is a time of renewal. Perhaps that is partly because an important part of my own spiritual awakening occurred as a result of my involvement in a school Christmas concert.

I was in grade eight, attending a country school that had a total enrolment of eight students who were spread over grades from one to nine. We prepared and presented a two-hour concert of songs, plays and recitations. Everyone expected that a retelling of the Christmas story would be an important ingredient of the program. It would be introduced simply as “The Pageant” and would close the program.

The teacher that year, a gifted and concerned young woman, assigned to me a monologue that would introduce the pageant. I would be dressed as a shepherd. I still remember how the monologue began. “It is as the Psalmist said, ‘the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, night to night declareth knowledge.’ Surely it is on a night such as this that Messiah, the Saviour of the world, must be born!”

The monologue went on to speak of a people waiting for healing, for justice and peace. It spoke of a people certain that God would act. At my teacher’s urging, I practised alone at night, outside, under the bright stars and northern lights. The snow, appropriately, lay round about, deep and crisp and even!

That year some of the meaning of Christmas got hold of me. Each year I am caught again, faith is renewed and the gospel news of liberation provides new inspiration and purposeful direction. There is a gift of new sight.

How sad that commercialism gone rampant prostitutes the gospel in search of increased profits. How tragic that the sound of parties and the semi-soused singing of carols drowns out the insistent proclamation of the angel song. How narrow that the consumer’s pursuit of pleasure sates us so that we miss the true feast, the banquet set by God for a waiting world and hungry peoples.

The starkness of our prairie winter is relieved by the frequent dressing of trees and grasses, wires and fences, with white hoar frost. White crystals catch and reflect dancing sun rays. On cloudy days the landscape is wrapped in blankets of silent glory. A bare world is transfigured into a palace of shimmering glass and reflected light.

As our long winters give way to the refreshing breezes of springtime, a different transformation occurs. This is the transfiguration of renewal. The winds carry perfume of ready earth, of budding trees and grasses, of dainty and courageous spring flowers. They carry too the bird songs that announce the season’s opening. They carry the wingbeat sounds of migrating flocks pioneering northward yet another time.

The transfiguration promised and given by the Christmas gospel surpasses even these rich gifts. The winter of the world with harshness of war and injustice melts before its advance. The world is transformed — and we are gifted with eyes to see the potential of transformation. A new day has begun and we, newly awakened, welcome it.

Take time. “Consider the wonder and pause at the grace.” For again a child’s cry alerts all to see the approaching rule of love, the blossoming spring of peace and justice.

Not easily, and not without cost, does this blessing come. Mary, who had sung “Magnificat” knew. She kept much in her heart, wondering. She had been warned by Simeon of the sword that would pierce her heart. Her child would bear cross and wear a crown of thorns. But, in that bearing and wearing would come the healing of the nations! The weak would be lifted, the proud would be thrown down. This is a revolutionary gospel. In openness and awe we are invited to receive it as a gift for us and for our world.

                                                    Audio Sample

One verse played on piano

Scripture References

  • Psalm 19:1-4
  • Luke 1:39-56
  • Luke 2:1-20
  • John 1:1-18
  • John 8:12
  • John 9
  • Acts 9:1-2

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Christmas
  • Dream, Dreaming
  • God∶ promise of
  • Jesus∶ birth
  • Mystery
  • Vision

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