I Wonder As I Wander is one of the most beautiful of all Christmas Hymns. It was originally published in Songs of the Hill Folk in 1934. It tells of the longing to understand why Jesus came to earth for each one of us. The haunting melody speaks of that lonely longing so many Believers experience at this time of year.
John Jacob Niles, who created the melody and penned most of the words based the song on a fragment of a song he had heard while attending an evangelistic meeting in the mountains. In his own words…
A girl had stepped out to the edge of the little platform attached to the automobile. She began to sing. Her clothes were unbelievable dirty and ragged, and she, too, was unwashed. Her ash-blond hair hung down in long skeins…. But, best of all, she was beautiful, and in her untutored way, she could sing. She smiled as she sang, smiled rather sadly, and sang only a single line of a song. Pen, Ron. “I Wonder as I Wander”. A Kentucky Christmas (George Ella Lyon, editor). University Press of Kentucky (2003), p200–201. ISBN 0-8131-2279-1.
I can see the shadows and shapes of the dark Appalachian Mountains as I listen to this beautiful piece of music. I can almost hear the Heavenly Hosts singing…Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men! –Luke 2:14
Heavenly Father, during this waiting time, the Advent of Jesus return, keep me mindful that the loneliness I sometimes feel is Your Spirit within waiting to be rejoined with You. As I anticipate with great joy Your return not as a Baby but as my Redeemer grant me the peace that comes from knowing that You are my One and Only. Glory be to God in the Highest!