Tag Archives: first Christmas

Sunday Series – Christmas Edition – Away in a Manger

Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head
 

Maybe you have a baby, or maybe someone else’s baby is the one, isn’t there or wasn’t there a baby you have been around that was just the cutest thing you ever saw. You looked upon this baby and thought what a sweet little baby. Look at those little toes and fingers. Look at that tiny nose and so on it goes. Imagine one night a little baby that fits any of the descriptions above, and more, is born. But this baby wasn’t born in a hospital with a team of doctor’s and nurses waiting to help. This baby was our Lord Jesus, and his parents had no place to stay the night He was born. But He did have a place to rest His sweet head. I can imagine mom and dad glowing over their new-born Son.

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay
 

The night sky was the backdrop for this first Christmas. The stars were shining. I am sure that without much light in this little town the sky would have looked like it was just inches from your face as you stared into the depth of the night sky. A sleeping baby, one of the most precious sights I could ever see, and there He was asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes
 

The baby Jesus is in a manger, where animals normally feed. The cattle are present. They witness the most memorable birth in history. The cattle, they wake the baby Jesus. Somehow, perhaps, He senses His own place in all this as He wakes, and does not cry.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side,
‘Til morning is nigh.
 

As I sit here and write these words my mind wanders. My mind remembers all those friends and family members who are looking down from the sky. They are with my Lord Jesus, they are at His side. Somehow, throughout my life He has been at my side when I needed Him. In the dark of night, or in the dark of our lives, please Lord, stay by my side. Stay at least until I see the sun or until I can lean on my own, and not on your Son.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray
 

Lord, I ask you into my heart to stay. Stay with me always. I will be the person your will would have me be. Love me as I know you can.

Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there
 

The dear children. So fitting. Children are dear. Truth be told we can all be God’s children. It’s our free will to choose, to make that conscious decision. One day our Lord, who spent His first hours in a manger will take us Home to live with Him there.

Away in a manger. Meaning: In a different place, possibly far from a place one normally would be, in a trough where animals feed. Talk about an inauspicious start to life. That’s how God planned it. That’s how man arranged it. This Christmas listen to this song, take in the words, and know the reason we celebrate Christmas. Oh, and remember, a holiday was not born that morning, nor was anyone named, X. It was Christ, our Lord, that was born that morning. Merry Christmas.

Sunday Series – Christmas Edition – Little Drummer Boy

I know the Little Drummer Boy doesn’t qualify as a Christmas hymn but I am including it in my series here. Based on the fact that several versions of this song appear in my YouTube Christmas Playlist, I am going to say this song is absolutely one of my favorites. I have included a couple of versions of the song in these links. It’s the tune, the percussion, the words, the meanings behind it all that make it so special to me.

I have included the lyrics as written by Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati, and Harry Simeone in 1958. I am writing this from the perspective of the Little Drummer Boy. Maybe I am grown now, and looking back at my visit to the stable that first Christmas.

Come they told me. This wasn’t a question, but a statement. I was a kid, I didn’t get to make those decisions. I didn’t even have any input. I would get that privilege later in life. As it should be. A new-born King to see? OK, sounds good to me. We get to bring our best gifts and honor Him by giving them to Him? Wow! This is special. I am excited about this visit. May I bring my favorite possession for the King? My drum. Maybe I can play for Him.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
 
A new-born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
 
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
 
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
 
 
So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
 
When we come.
 

We showed up at this little stable tucked away from everything else that seemed to matter. The space was cozy, some how quaint, it was a stable but somehow I felt right at home. The little Baby was lying in a manger, but for some reason it was fitting. Then I thought, well, I am just a poor boy here in front of this King. What do I have that’s fit for a King? Nothing really, nothing fit for a King. I did have my favorite thing in all the world, I had my drum. If my drum was so special to me then just maybe it would be special to this new-born King as well. Mom; Dad? Do you mind if I ask the Baby’s mother if it’s OK for me to play my drum for the King? Thank you. Ma’am I have no gift worthy of a King. May I play my drum for you?

 
Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
 
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
 
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
 
That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
 
 
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
 
On my drum?
 

The Baby’s mother nodded to me, giving me the OK to play for Him. There were animals around as we were in a stable and the Baby was in one of the animals’ manger. I started to play my drum. It sounded and felt right. The ox and lamb watched and kept time. I played and played. I know that I played my best. This was my gift to the King. The only gift I had to offer that was fit for this King, was my best effort, doing my favorite thing, playing my drum. Then He smiled at me. He smiled at me and my drum. His smile was a gift to me. I smiled and felt as though I had given a proper gift to the King.

 
Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
 
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
 
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
 
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
 
 
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
 
Me and my drum.
 

As it turns out this King was different and somehow I knew that as I played for him. His mother didn’t need to let me play for Him. After all we weren’t rich or prestigious we were just a poor family that was led to the King. This Baby’s mother knew that there was something special about her Baby, and she let us in. She let me play my drum for Him. She knew, He knew, that my best, heart-felt effort, was worthy of the King. If all I had to give was my all, then that’s a gift worthy of this King. It still is. That’s all He asks. I mean we give our all to far less important things all the time. We were created in His image so why shouldn’t we give Him our all. I gave my all back when I was just the Little Drummer Boy.