Away in a Manger
Author (attributed to): Martin Luther;
Author (st. 1-2): Anonymous 1885
Author (v. 3, attr.): John T. McFarland 1892
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
the stars in the heavens looked down where He lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven, to live with Thee there.
Away, this event happened in a time far far away from the present; it happened in a time and culture so far away from the times and practices of today; in another part of the world with a climate, flora, fauna, and away from the home life I’ve led, he was born, lived, taught, and died.
How, Lord, can I relate to this baby born away in a manger, when I’ve never seen a manger, nor been in a stone stall for animals. Yes, it was most likely a stone stall as wood was not abundant in that area. I’ve also read that Joseph was a carpenter who taught his skills to Jesus, ways of cutting and forming structures and household implements from stone, wood, or other materials. A ‘handy man’ is more akin to Joseph’s profession in Nazareth.
Mary and Joseph had to go away to Bethlehem to participate in the census. The family was sent to Egypt, away from the sword that surely would have slain the baby Jesus. Away from his family, Jesus, as a young boy, went to the temple away from them to teach from the scriptures; scaring both his parents, He told them did they not know He was in His Father’s house. Jesus often came away to pray. Jesus got in a boat to teach further away from the crowds. Jesus came to show us a way to live; He was and is our way-shower.
Jesus died and went away from the disciples for three days; but he rose from the dead; he was resurrected; he now will never be away from those who let him into their hearts.
There are other ways to be away.
Away, many of my loved ones have passed away. Loved ones near and far can also be far away. Not being presently active within a family circle leaves scars whether the separation, being away, is a good thing or not.
Dear Lord, bless me with the love and compassion to be a way to You. I want to live my life in a way that glorifies and praises your name. Amen