The Songs Tell the Story: A Family Advent Devotional

The Songs Tell the Story: A Family Advent Devotional

DAY 1 OF 25

The Song with an Incredible Answer

Almost no one in the world realized that Jesus was Christ the King that first Christmas.

People weren’t expecting their Messiah would be a baby boy, born in a stable. But Mary knew her baby was special, and the angels told the shepherds he was too. Those shepherds who went to find Jesus became the first people to tell the world about him.

William Chatterton Dix was thinking about that when he wrote the hymn “What Child is This?” When William was a young man, he moved to Glasgow, Scotland, and worked in an insurance business. But his favorite thing to do was writing poetry.

William became very ill and was forced to stay in bed for a long time. In the 1800s, there were a lot of illnesses that doctors didn’t have the medicine to cure. During this time, Mr. Dix became very discouraged and began to question whether God was real. Eventually, William began to read a lot of Christian books. He spent a lot of time praying. Eventually, he recovered from his illness and became a man of great faith.

The man who loved to write poetry began to write hymns for the church. “What Child Is This?” is part of a longer poem called The Manger Song. William’s poem was set to a famous tune of the day called “Greensleeves,” and people have been singing his Christmas hymn since 1865.

A lot of people know this famous hymn and sing these words at Christmastime. But, like William, they have a lot of questions about God:

  • Is he real?
  • Does he love me?
  • Was Jesus really the Son of God?

I hope this plan will help you remember the great truth about Christmas and about Christ. It is the same truth that Mary and the shepherds knew about the baby born in a Bethlehem stable.

If your friends ask, “What child is this?” you can tell them. The baby sleeping in Mary’s lap was Jesus, and he was Christ the King. You can “make haste to bring him laud” (laud means honor.)

The Babe, the Son of Mary, is our Lord and Savior.


About this Plan

The Songs Tell the Story: A Family Advent Devotional

With twenty-five entries, if you start on December 1, you’ll end this devotional on Christmas Day. Once you’ve read a day together with your children, discuss the main topic. See if your children know these songs, or the...

We would like to thank Christian Parenting for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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