Creator of the Stars at Night
Today's entry was written by Mark Sprinkle. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what BioLogos believes here.
Tonight and tomorrow, Christians around the world stop to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem just over two thousand years ago. The familiar narrative of Joseph leading Mary to the stable to give birth to the Messiah, of the angels telling the shepherds in the fields of the great event that was happening nearby, and of the three men from the east who came to pay homage to the new King of Israel is re-told or acted out in countless churches, schools and homes. And from countless pulpits, the message goes out that those events are not just a quaint story and an excuse to give gifts, but the central mystery of our faith—that God himself became one of us in order to redeem us and the cosmos from our bondage to sin and death. That mystery—that the Creator God is also the Redeemer Christ—has been to focus of our worship since the first days of the church, and is the subject of the 7th-century Latin hymn Conditor alme siderum, presented here in a new setting from Alex Mejias and High Street Hymns.
While this recording includes only verses one and three from the original text (given in full below), it adds a refrain that catches the spirit of the whole hymn and emphasizes the longing we still feel even in our Christmas joy—the “already, but not yet” state in which we find ourselves today, living between that first Advent and the second Advent yet to be: “Come, O come to us!” For while we know that God has come to us in Jesus—that his death and resurrection have redeemed us and the universe—we are still waiting for that final consummation, depending on the Spirit to be working out our salvation even now. Until the time when, as the hymn says, “all hearts must bow,” the entire BioLogos community invites you to join us in the blessed work of declaring, celebrating, and following the Christ who is both Creator and Savior.
Creator of the Stars at Night
Creator of the stars of night,
thy people's everlasting light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all,
we pray you hear us when we call.
In sorrow that the ancient curse
should doom to death a universe,
you came, O Savior, to set free
your own in glorious liberty.
When this old world drew on toward night,
you came; but not in splendor bright,
not as a monarch, but the child
of Mary, blameless mother mild.
At your great Name, O Jesus, now
all knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
all things on earth with one accord,
like those in heaven, know you are Word.
Come in your holy might, we pray,
redeem us for eternal day;
defend us while we dwell below
from all assaults of our dread foe.
To God Creator, God the Child,
and God the Spirit, sane and wild,
praise, honor, might, and glory be
from age to age eternally.
Alex Mejias is the founder and director of High Street Hymns, a non-profit music ministry that exists to spread the Gospel and worship the Triune God in spirit and truth through hymns, psalms and spiritual songs. Alex grew up in New Jersey and outside Washington, DC, receiving a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. For the past 15 years he has been leading worship for churches and ministries, writing and recording both new and old hymns, and touring the east coast as a singer-songwriter. Alex is also committed to the power of the creative arts to advance the Gospel and promote justice and healing in the name of Christ, serving, supporting, and collaborating with several other non-profit ministries.
Mark Sprinkle is an artist and cultural historian, and was formerly Senior Web Editor and Senior Fellow of Arts and Humanities for The BioLogos Foundation. A phi beta kappa graduate of Georgetown University, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, where he studied how artworks embody complex relationships in different cultural contexts. Since 1996 he has been an independent artist and frame-maker, also regularly writing and speaking on the role of creative practices in cultural mediation and renewal, especially in the area of science and Christian faith. Mark and his wife Beth home-schooled their three boys, and are active in the local home-school community in Richmond, Virginia.