Today’s devotional was written by Amy Johnston
“While it’s not a carol commonly played often anymore, and it is far from being a chart-topper or featuring on a ‘Now That’s What I call Christmas’ album, I am of the opinion that ‘Good King Wenceslas’ is highly underrated. I have always been fond of songs that have stories and legends woven into their lyrics, which is exactly what Good King Wenceslas possesses.
The carol is based on the true story about Saint Wenceslaus I, who was the Duke of Bohemia during the 9th century. It tells of how the king faced down the worst weather that winter had to offer in order to bless a poor peasant he’d spotted collecting firewood for his home and family. The king then decided to bring food and firewood to the man’s home as an act of goodwill, and so he travels with one of his servants to do so.
The story goes on to mention that the weather was so bad that his servant insisted he could not go on any further, but the King tells him to follow boldly in his footsteps. In doing so, the legend tells us that the servant was sheltered from the worst of the weather and was warmed in the shelter of the king. They reach the poor man’s house and are able share a wonderful meal together. The moral of this story was to show that in blessing others, we too are blessed in return.
Listening to the carol it is not hard to see the image of Christ in the actions of Good King Wenceslas. Much like the king in this legend, Christ cares for the vulnerable and He leads us to care for others by His example, giving to those in need. Furthermore, Christ also creates a path for us and shelters us through the storms of life, giving us the strength to carry on when we feel we have no more left to give.
Overall, this carol serves as a perfect reminder of what we can all do at Christmas: celebrate and share, not only with family and friends, but also with our community.”