In this poem, Sam Chua takes us through part of the story of our Lord’s Advent—from Isaiah to the Magnificat.
The Promised Messiah (Isaiah 9, 11)
The prophets had foretold of it—
The promised child to come,
The mighty God from heaven’s heights,
the Father’s only Son,
The Prince of Peace and Counsellor,
Who wields the Shepherd’s rod,
The everlasting father King,
Who bears the name of God.
With wisdom great and shoulders strong,
The government he’ll bear,
The wicked he will strike and crush,
But poor ones tend with care.
He’ll judge not with the eyes of men,
Nor turn a biased ear,
But rule in godly righteousness,
And drive out strife and fear.
Then wolf shall lie with gentle lamb,
And lion dine on straw,
The child shall play in vipers’ dens,
And stroke the leopard’s maw.
As waters fill the shining seas,
From hill to valley fjord,
The earth shall ring and echo with,
The knowledge of the Lord
But no one thought that God would hatch,
A plan so great yet wild,
To limit and incarnate as,
A tiny helpless child.
The Annunciation of Jesus’ Birth (Luke 1:26-38; Matt 1:21)
To Nazareth of Galilee,
A town of no renown,
Did God delight to bless and send
His mighty angel down.
To Mary’s home the seraph came,
And greeted Joseph’s spouse—
A righteous man of good repute
From David’s royal house.
“Rejoice and hail O favored one,
But do not be dismayed,
The Lord your God is with you now,
O faithful, virgin maid,
For in your womb, by God’s command,
A child will grow within—
A Saviour for a world that’s lost,
And dead in its own sin.
Christ Jesus you shall call his name,
A gift from God Most High,
To sit on David’s royal throne,
And rule o’er earth and sky.
Forever over Jacob’s house,
A kingdom vast and broad,
Through endless days and matchless praise,
He’ll reign as Son of God!”
“But how can I,” the virgin asked,
“Be given to conceive?
When sin I have not reveled in,
And made His Spirit grieve?”
“The Spirit’s pow’r will cover you,”
the messenger replied,
“And grant you what no man can give,
a sacred, holy child.”
And so, the virgin bowed and spoke,
To Yahweh’s will deferred,
“A servant of the Lord I am,
may God fulfill his Word.”
Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-56)
Then Mary’s soul exulted and
With joy did celebrate,
In God her Saviour who had looked,
On her lowborn estate.
“Behold,” she sang, “For now the world,
My blessing shall proclaim,
For mighty God has great things done,
And holy is his Name.
Forever to his rev’rent saints,
His mercy he imparts,
His sovereign arm has shown its strength
And scattered prideful hearts.
The mighty he has humbled and
Unseated from their thrones
The lowly he has raised and fed,
While rich ones gnaw on bones.
His servant Israel he helps,
For promises he swore,
To Abraham and progeny,
To love them evermore.