During this year’s Christmas season, social media seems to be crowded with the hashtag #NotAChristmasSong. People, come on…
I remember singing, as a tradition, so many of the songs they’re talking about. Singing them makes me happy and nostalgic. No matter what people think, I’ll continue to sing them. Perhaps for most people, it’s just a joke and they’re not really slamming these songs. They may be trying to make fun of the social media hashtal using their own hashtags. But, in my opinion, some of those folks are a little too serious about what is and isn’t a Christmas song.
A song I remember singing is “Good King Wenceslas.” In reality, it’s not a Christmas song, but a song mentioning the Feast of Stephen. That particular feast is to honor the first Christian martyr, the apostle Stephen. Celebrating that feast is also a way to remember that Christ offers eternal life. Stephen, after all, saw Christ standing at God’s right hand. That gives a whole new meaning to “it’s a wonderful life.”
The song is also a nice story about how a king looked after a poor and probably oppressed man. Now how much more can that be about Jesus?
In the lyrics to the song, the good king welcomes his page to follow in the footsteps he makes in the deep snow.
“Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread thou in them boldly”
How much more could that be about Jesus’ offer to us, “Follow me”?
The page obeys, knowing his King will guide him in safety and security. Even in hardships.
“In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted”
The word dinted means “with force or power.” How much more could that be about Jesus’ character?
Eventually, the story sends a message to everyone, no matter their worldly status, that blessing the poor brings a blessing. How much more could that be about God’s favor?
I invite you to click to see the musical score for Good King Wenceslas, which has all the verses of the song’s music and lyrics. Put yourself in the poor man’s place, receiving gifts from a King. Put yourself in the page’s place, following your Master. (If I was a betting sort of person, I’d wager you can’t read it without singing along.)
Oh, my King and Master, thank you for the position you give me as I follow you. I am lowly as a page, and not deserving of your grace, yet you’ve chosen me to stand with you. May I follow, every day, in your powerful steps and remember to provide justice to the poor and oppressed. Help me to remember how much you love us all. Amen