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Monday, November 30, 2015

Sweet Holy Child

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. John 1:10 NIV

I was thumbing through Christmas music for the choir to present to our congregation at the retirement village when I came across a tender-hearted arrangement of the spiritual “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.” One line in the lyric demanded I stop and take notice:

Sweet little Holy Child/Didn't know Who You was.

I flashed back to the moment the apostle John chose to introduce us to the Master. He could have used the birth announcement (like Luke) or the genealogy (like Matthew). He could have jumped into the action (like Mark). But there, for all to read, amid the imagery of light and life, grace and truth, beginnings and The Word is this line, consistent with the old spiritual:

He was in the world, and … the world did not recognize him.

Devastating indictment of humanity. Your Creator entered the world He made. And guess what? You didn’t know Who He was!

How could they not know?

Before I’m quick to indict them, what about me? I say I know Who He is; I recognize His authority over the universe. But what about His authority over my life? If I recognize Him, what difference does that make? Have you ever wondered the very thing?

Let’s take our lead from those who did recognize Jesus—at the first Christmas and in the 33½ years that followed. They travelled long and far, left work undone, jeopardized lives and livelihoods. They gave gifts that cost them. They claimed Him publicly even when it was dangerous. Consider Peter and John, dragged before the same religious body that just weeks before had condemned Jesus to death. Caiaphas and Annas the high priests were among those who demanded the disciples stop preaching in Jesus’ name. “But Peter and John answered … ‘We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:19-20 NASB).

We can’t stop recognizing Him once we see Him and know Him for ourselves.

In a world where it’s increasingly unpopular to claim the Christ of the Word, may we follow the lead of Peter and John and make this our hearts’ Christmas prayer:

Sweet Jesus, I know Who You are.

Because I know You, I dedicate my life to speaking truth about You.

Blessings and prayers,


 © 2015, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email:

"Sweet Little Jesus Boy," by Robert MacGimsey