Lessons & Carols 1 – Genesis 1:1-5; “Once in Royal David’s City”

Posted by on Dec 7, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The First Lesson: Genesis 1: 1-5

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness God called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Tim Hendrix plays “Once in Royal David’s City,” arr. Rodney Abriol

Into the stillness of a dark sanctuary, the simple melody pierces the silence as the service of Lessons & Carols begins: 

Once in royal David’s city,

Stood a lowly cattle shed,

Where a mother laid her baby

In a manger for His bed:

Mary was that mother mild,

Jesus Christ her little child.

From there, the carol builds as voices and instruments are added like layers of clothing on winter’s coldest day. The words from the first lesson, Genesis 1: 1-5, build in much the same way: 

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,

the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep,

while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; 

and there was light.  (v.1-3)

There is something sacred about these small and silent beginnings. Both bursting forth with holy potential, potential that would soon be realized by the simple summons of a single voice. In this season we tend to forget about the small beginnings into which God so often speaks New Creation. We get caught up in the grandeur of Christmas, wanting the largest tree that will fit in the space and more packages than the year before. We want to see our sanctuary full of people, eagerly awaiting the sounds of brass and bells majestically announcing the birth of Christ. This year as we embrace the season with somewhat smaller sounds, we remember the sound of a solo voice, proclaiming a simple reality, hope is being born in the silence of a single manger, bursting forth with enormous potential. 

Is there a simple word, a solo voice, a single melody that offers you a small bit of hope today?

Chrissy Tatum Williamson