Who Is This Child?
…by Chuck Graham
William Dix was born in 1837 England. 1 You’ve likely never heard of him. His father, a surgeon and author, was well known and his family well-to-do. But William chose a simpler life managing a company in Glasgow, Scotland. Nothing seemed extraordinary about him. And yet…
In his mid-twenties, William was severely ill for many months and often very depressed. During his recovery, he was determined to focus on God and began composing poems and hymns. The more William wrote of God’s love, mercy, and kindness, the more his faith grew.
One special composition was about the birth of Jesus, that moment when, as he wrote, “a new Power has come on the earth.” But feeling the poem a bit too long, William plucked a few verses to stand on their own. The new work was set to music and became popular at Christmas.
Do we truly understand who this child is?
Soon many will celebrate that day when heaven and earth crossed paths and a special Jewish baby was born. A Savior and the Light of the world. And while this Christmas seems to come at a very dark and dangerous time, it does not come close to what awaited Jesus.
The child born long ago lived in conflict. The rulers saw Him as lying, delusional, insane, demonic, blasphemous, and self-absorbed. Yet the meek found Him loving, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, humble, gentle, and kind. What child could cause such contradictions?
Even Jesus seemed confusing. He was Son of God and Son of Man. He loved even as He was hated. He forgave and showed mercy when neither was sought or deserved. He spurned the powerful to love the least. He died on a cross, yet was innocent. What child was this?
And have you figured out why He came?
So what do we make of this child? Who is He? What is He? Why did He come? To anyone just passing by, nothing would have seemed extraordinary about Him. And yet…
The clear light of heaven streams out to the world,
And Angels of God are crowding the air;
And heaven and earth, through the spotless Birth,
Are at peace on this night so fair! 2
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary. 3
William Dix knew what child this was and who He is. The Messiah and the Christ. The Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Hope of Israel and all mankind. And he knew why He came…….He came for you!
Take care & be God’s,
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa , an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching others how to “encourage one another as long as it is called Today!” He is an author, speaker, teacher, and encourager. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. You can learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org .
1. William Chatterton Dix, June 14, 1837–September 9, 1889, born in Bristol, England.
2. The Manger Throne, 1865.
3. What Child Is This, 1865.
Banner Photo: The Nativity Story, New Line Cinema, 2006
First Photo: William Chatterton Dix, appeared in The Strand, 1886
Second Photo: Jesus of Nazareth, ITC Films, 1977