We hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! As we posted yesterday, we spent a wonderful few days in Minnesota with family, and while we are exhausted after our drive back yesterday/early this morning, it was such a blessing to be able to celebrate Christmas with our northern family!
On this Thirsty Thursday, I thought I would share with you an insight from a devotional book I just love – we both do – The One Year Book of Hymns. Today’s entry focuses on the song “Away In A Manger”… Did you know this hymn’s first two verses are somewhat of a mystery? The author is unknown…For many years, it was said to have been written by Martin Luther, as it appeared first in a Lutheran hymnal, but no one really knows for certain. Regardless, it is a beautiful song…Take a minute to really listen to the words:
The final verse’s author is known. It was written by John McFarland, between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and its words are profound:
“Be near me, Lord Jesus. I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray.”
Jesus as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger… and then we read in Isaiah 53:1-6 :Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces. he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Don’t you find it astonishing that we, as Christians, during Advent and Christmas, honor this tiny baby, born in a manger – Emmanuel, God With Us. God’s only Son, sent down from Heaven to save this world from its sin…
And after Christmas, we let our joy and our heavenly peace fall away. We allow the world to creep back in, and we all go astray. We follow society, the media, and all that we know in our hearts to be wrong. We are all guilty of this. Just like sheep – following blindly the wrong shepherd.
This day after Christmas, let’s make it our resolution to keep that joy and that heavenly peace in our hearts, to remember all year long why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, and to let that reason be shepherd of our souls.All Our Love,