The story behind this lesser known Christmas hymn, Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne, is so rich. It’s written by Emily Elliott (1836-1897), the niece of Charlotte Elliott, author of the hymn, Just as I am. She was a devoted worker of rescue missions and Sunday Schools in Brighton, England. She wrote the song for the children’s choir at her father’s church there. She wanted to teach children the Biblical truths behind the advent season, and the song was based on the verse from Luke 2:7, “but there was no room for them in the inn.”
As a believer reflecting on the truths of the nativity season, I am humbled to think that the King of all Kings left His Royal throne to come as a lowly babe in a manger because God loved us that much.
The refrain is beautiful: “O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee!” In listening to this song, I’m always convicted to ask, “Am I making room in my heart, my life, for the King during the hustle and bustle of Christmas?” As a wife and mother and “Martha” type, I struggle with that. But reflecting on this hymn, and the true meaning of the season, I strive to be like “Mary,” who sat at the Lord’s feet.
Listen to this amazing rendition of the hymn by the great George Beverly Shea.
I’m getting the history of these Christmas hymns from 101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth Osbeck. If you are interested in studying about the “story behind the hymn,” definitely check out this inspirational resource!