Evermore and Evermore
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Christian poet, born in what is now Northern Spain, in AD 348. He was a well-known and widely read poet during the middle ages. Today, not many people have even heard his name, and few are aware of his writings.
Clemens wrote the words to the hymn that began and ended our program—Of the Father’s Love Begotten. The modern tune for this song, titled Divinum Mysterium, was developed from plainsong or chant that was popular during the middle ages. The tune used today was first published in the late 1500s. Both the words and the music are a bit different from what we are used to; but this is ancient music, so we should not be surprised if it’s a bit unusual to our ears.
We sang three verses of this ancient hymn, and our narrator spoke another verse. There is one remaining verse:
3 This is he whom seers and sages sang of old with one accord,
whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word.
Now he shines, the long-expected; let creation praise its Lord
evermore and evermore.
You perhaps noticed that each verse of this song ended with the words “evermore and evermore.” The hymn writer is asserting that there is something eternal about Jesus.
At Christmastime, we celebrate a particular event or time in the life of our Savior. He was born into the world at a certain point in history. As we celebrate the birth of Christ in time, we should also celebrate the aspects of Jesus that are timeless and eternal. The birth of Jesus was one event in a timeline that extends from eternity past to eternity future. His birth by no means defines or limits Jesus; he is eternal.
What is it about Jesus that is eternal, that extends “evermore and evermore”?