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28 December 2014

Christmas Carol

Don't look at what indeed you are;
sin marks your frail condition.
See him who traveled from afar,
to make your plea his mission.
Behold the news! With you to stay
your Savior is now on his way,
your homeward journey guiding,
on eagles' pinions riding.

Don't focus on the misery
which you yourself created.
Look at the Christ, your help is he!
If you are persuaded
that his pure grace is adequate
and that to save you he saw fit,
your guilt he will devour
though once you feared its power.

While you lose faith, in faithfulness
his promise he's affirming.
Remaking you, a man he is,
finds you in trouble squirming.
Because himself he can't deny,
look up at him, your guilt defy.
Himself he is now binding.
You are the one he's finding.

At what you are, no longer stare.
Your old self is deleted.
You nothing lack, have but one care:
God's coming is completed.
A Couns'lor, Wonderful he's named,
a mighty Prince of Peace acclaimed.
 He sees your sins, and feeling
your pain, he brings you healing.

Your linen may be humbly styled
but you can stay contented.
The Son of God, the human child
therein is represented.
To free you, here he does remain,
he takes on guilt, its claim to reign.
Your sin he is excluding,
your tears to praise transmuting.

German text by Jochen Klepper, 1938; English translation by Fritz Wendt, 1997. Suggested Tune: Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light (SBH 29).

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