"For he chose is in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6)
1. How, before all time began,
Before the world's creation,
Could the Lord conceive His plan
Of mercy and salvation?
Yet, from that high and timeless place,
God chose to save our death-bound race:
Emmanuel--as prophets tell the story
In Scripture as we know,
Would veil in flesh His glory
And dwell with us below!
2. To the darkness of our night
And to our need descending,
Come the Word as Light of Light
Beyond our comprehending--
Radiant within the virgin's womb;
Dawning as day upon our gloom.
Hail, Jacob's Star! For all You are now shining
Your beam of grace on earth,
Your royal might confining
Within such humble birth.
3. As the presence of a king
Brings honor to a city,
Bethlehem, be glad and sing
Your Sov'reign's tender pity;
Join all the angels who rejoice;
Let ev'ry creature raise its voice--
Sing "Glory be to God!" for He is solely
The God who comes to save
And to our world unholy,
The Prince of Peace He gave.
4. Tarshish lords from distant shore,
Come, pay your tribute to Him;
Kings of Sheba, kneel before
The One with worship due Him.
Rise up, O nations! See! Your Lord!
Long may He live and be adored!
Oh, may His fame and holy name, transcending
Each name upon this sphere,
Be sung with praise unending
For love so pure and near!