What Child Is This

By: Woody Godbey

My all-time favorite Christmas carol is "What Child Is This." A very good friend and church member, Judy Rhom would sing this song in our church every Christmas and I would always tear up. The Lord took Judy home at an early age but I will never forget the angelic voice that sang my favorite carol every Christmas. I never really put a lot of thought about it being a question and answer until this morning. The question must have been in the minds of those present at Jesus' birth. I can almost hear the question being asked from one to another as they looked into the manger. It must have been difficult for them to understand that the babe who lay in "such mean estate" was truly the promised Messiah. And through the centuries men have continued to ponder who Christ really is, how can He be fully God and still fully man? The answer to that question comes through divine faith.

I love how an unknown writer put it: "He who is the Bread of Life began His ministry hungering. He who is the Water of Life ended His ministry thirsty. Christ hungered as man, yet fed the multitudes as God. He was weary, yet He is our rest. He prayed, yet He hears prayers. He was sold for 30 pieces of silver, yet He redeems sinners. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd. He died, and by dying destroyed death."

I really love the answer to the question that comes in the Chorus, "This, this is Christ the King." That to me says it all.


Thank God for Technology, I was able to research the author. The carol was written by William C. Dix, a successful insurance salesman in Glasgow, Scotland. Dix was afflicted with a serious illness at the age of twenty-nine. He was confined to bed for a long period of time and then went into a deep depression. In his depressed state he called out to God and a new, revived relationship began. Through his illness and depression he met the Lord in a new and real way. From that spiritual experience came many hymns, including this beautiful carol, "What Child Is This." This was the first Christmas carol I learned on guitar. The question is asked in the first verse and the chorus answers the question.

"What Child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?

Chorus: This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; Haste, haste to bring Him laud -- the Babe, the Son of Mary." Merry Christmas and God Bless!