Cradled in a manger

This week’s reflections are on Christmas carols, but not the most popular ones. Some are many years old, but often do not feature in more modern hymn books. Lets look today at this one by George Stringer Rowe (1830-1913), a Methodist minister who had a great love of Wesley hymns.
This is what I call a Gospel carol, not because it tells of angels and shepherds and wise men and the stable, but because the strong message of the significance of Christmas to us, for our redemption, is the theme in every verse.
Read it through, let these beautiful words sink in. Point to ponder: why is it no longer popular?
God bless you, as you consider this.

Cradled in a manger, meanly,
Laid the Son of Man His head;
Sleeping His first earthly slumber
Where the oxen had been fed.
Happy were those shepherds listening
To the holy angel’s word;
Happy they within that stable
Worshipping their infant Lord.

Happy all who hear the message
Of His coming from above;
Happier still who hail His coming,
And with praises greet His love.
Blessèd Savior, Christ most holy,
In a manger Thou didst rest;
Canst Thou stoop again, yet lower,
And abide within my breast?

Evil things are there before Thee;
In the heart, where they have fed,
Wilt Thou pitifully enter,
Son of Man, and lay Thy head?
Enter, then, O Christ most holy;
Make a Christmas in my heart;
Make a heaven of my manger:
It is heaven where Thou art.

And to those who never listened
To the message of Thy birth,
Who have winter, but no Christmas
Bringing them Thy peace on earth,
Send to these the joyful tidings;
By all people, in each home,
Be there heard the Christmas anthem;
Praise to God, the Christ has come!

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