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We Have Seen His Glory

Christmas Carol: I Saw Three Ships

Oh, to See Three Ships

by Girien R. Salazar

The frolicsome melody of this 17th century carol sets me to sing, smile, and dance, not to ponder. For if I do consider its words all my playful pining is diminished even under mild musing. How peculiar its verses! First, that the Virgin Mary and Christ are seen aboard not one but three ships; second, that to deliver their cargo these ships sail inland across the high sands to Bethlehem; and third, that these divine dignitaries would be bound for so lowly a village. What a wondrous vision. Oh, to see three ships bearing such heavenly persons in the most miraculous of ways to the humblest of towns, and, oh, to welcome them.

Yet even as this ballad bewilders me there is an utterance that, despite all the perplexity in which I am left, gives rise within my soul to a more exuberant hymn, grin, and caper:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. – John 1:14a ESV

'Tis most peculiar this verse! That the Word who is Spirit, who is Creator, should come to us enveloped in skin and swaddling clothes. That the Word who is eternal, who is with God in the beginning, should dwell in time and finiteness. And that the Word who is Christ, who is King, should humble Himself on earth before His low-born subjects. What a wondrous verity! Oh, to see the coming of the Word, who is Jesus of Bethlehem, bearing no royal semblance, basking in no earthly glory, and boasting no saintly privileges, and, oh, to welcome Him!

In this hope-filled season, may we consider the peculiar manner of the coming of our Lord Jesus, that the Word should become flesh and dwell among us. And though this chorus may tempt to confound us, may it not diminish the strength of our song, the width of our smile, or the flare of our dance. Rather, may Christ’s miraculous advent give birth to a deeper understanding of God's love for us as we rejoice with all angels in heaven and souls on earth on Christmas Day.

Click the play button above to hear "I Saw Three Ships" performed by Corey Terwilliger

Recording Engineer: Cam Champion | Traditional English Carol | Arranged by: Cam Champion

Girien R. Salazar, Deputy Director at Faith and Education Coalition - NHCLC, is a current Ph.D. in Leadership Studies student with a concentration in General Leadership at Dallas Baptist University.

Corey Terwilliger graduated with a Music Business degree from Dallas Baptist University.

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