New Lyrics For “Away In A Manger”

jesus-birth

A few years ago, I wrote the lyrics for two additional verses for the Christmas Carol “Away In A Manger.” Please feel free to use them if you so desire.

No Longer A Baby, He Grew To A Man, Sent To Us From Heaven To Fulfill God’s Plan,                         He Died On A Cross To Atone For Our Sin, Then Rose From The Dead To Be Alive Again…

This Precious Lord Jesus Is All That We Need, If We Make Him Our Savior And Our Lord Indeed,           O Please, Wondrous Jesus, Be With Us Today, Fill Us With Your Spirit, We Now Humbly Pray…

Merry Christmas.

 

Simple Yet Perfect

jesus-christ-birth

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.  Luke 2:6-7

Two sentences. That’s all Luke uses to describe the birth of the Jesus. No parade, no details, no celebration. Nothing that would announce the coming of the Son of God.

However, maybe that’s the point. In this moment, God shed the His rightful power and glory, refused all claims to honor and praise, and lowered Himself to be born among us in the lowliest of circumstances. In doing so, he stepped into our lives fully so he could completely identify with us and ultimately redeem us.

So what can we learn from Luke’s description of the birth of Jesus?

We learn that the time came. This was no regular birth. This was a time when God got involved in history. The Redeemer of our world was entering our world.

We learn that she gave birth. Mary delivered Jesus in a similar fashion as all mothers give birth. The God of creation came to be with us through ordinary means.

We learn that Mary wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. While it is unbelievable to many that no one made room for this expectant mother, unfortunately similar things happen all of the time. Refugees, immigrants, and the poor are often cast out with nowhere to rest, no matter if they are hungry, sick, tired, or pregnant. Jesus was not only born like all of us, but he was born like the most vulnerable of us all.

Jesus was found not in palace in an important city but in a backwater town, not in a palace but in a stable, not sleeping on fine cloth but lying in a manger.

How simply written and how marvelous.

Lord, You came to earth as a vulnerable child, delivered in an ordinary way, but You ultimately redeemed the world. Help us to see You working, even in the most simple of ways. Amen.

Not Sure What To Do With This Money

extra-money

The worship service ended and, and usual, my family was the last to leave. I was already heading to the car when I heard my mother say, “We’ve already tithed and worked through our budget and savings plan. I have this money left over and I’m not sure what to do with it.”

I turned quickly to see the amount of money she was holding. I wanted to cry out, “I know what you can do with it! You can give it to me! Extra money is something I’m always willing to take.”

But then I saw she was talking to the pastor of our church.

She continued, “Can you put it into whatever area of the church where it’s most needed?”

“Certainly,” he said graciously. “Thank you.”

My mother smiled gently and handed him the money.

That happened over thirty years ago, and I’m so glad I saw it happen. Without realizing it, my mother was teaching me the importance of tithing, keeping a budget and savings plan, and then being extra generous with remaining funds.

This Christmas season, let me encourage everyone to be generous with what the Lord’s given you. It will be important in the moment and just might impact the generosity of the next generation.

photo-1452421822248-d4c2b47f0c81