Yes, I know… This is not an Advent hymn. This is a Good Friday hymn.
But, as we prepare for the coming of the Christ child, it is fitting that we occasionally remember who exactly we are expecting.
When I was younger, I saw Christmas as the pinnacle of the church year. This was God humbling himself to live as one of us.
As I matured in faith, I came to understand that Christmas played second fiddle to Easter. This was God working the ultimate miracle in defeating death itself.
But now, both of these holy days pale in comparison to Holy Week, the days leading up to Easter. This was God, through Christ, showing us both his ultimate commitment to humanity and what it means to live a life of true (sacred) humanity.
It is easy to be a Christian on Christmas as we all go ga-ga over the birth of a precious baby. The real trick is being a Christian on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday when we realize that we cannot be truly human unless we are willing to put all others ahead of ourselves.