This was the first Christmas hymn I learned to sing. At the time I didn’t know what some of the words meant. Cattle were “lowing”? Morning is “nigh”? But I had no trouble at all understanding the meaning.
Requested by Thewhiterabbit: Away in a Manger, sung by Alan Jackson.
So the kids can’t sing “Lord Jesus.” It can only be “little baby Jesus.” To make it more inclusive. So as not to express any Christian content to Muslims, Hindus, atheists, or people who worship trapdoor spiders.
But if Jesus is only a little baby, and not Lord of anything, then what the dickens are we celebrating? The birth of a nice guy? If Jesus is not the Christ, if He is not the Lord of lords and King of kings, then why do Christmas at all? As C.S. Lewis explained, if Christ is not who and what He says He is, then He is either a liar or a lunatic. And why should such a one be celebrated?
The more “inclusive” you try to make something, the more you thin it out–until whatever meaning it had has been diluted out of existence.
The nooze story quotes some angry parents, but apparently they’re not angry enough so that school big shots need have any fear of them.
But that’s how public servants become the masters of the public: when they lose their fear of the people.
Nat King Cole, a national treasure, sings Away in a Manger. This is what I call the American melody that goes with the hymn.
This was the first Christmas hymn I ever learned. When I hear it, I think of the “primary” class at Sunday school–nowadays it would be called “day care”–and this little book they gave us, one Christmas. On the front cover was a picture of the Holy Family in the manger: and how well I remember the sweet smile on the baby’s face!
The only way the devil wins is if he can stop Jesus Christ from being born–and that he couldn’t do.
Requested by Phoebe, Away in a Manger, sung by the choir at Kings College, Cambridge. (Note to Phoebe: This is what I call the British melody that goes with this hymn, The American melody is the other one we often hear.)
By now I think the baby Jesus would have been moved out of the manger, and into a cradle in a rented house, where the Wise Men found him. But the manger is such an enduring symbol of Christmas, and I want to hold on to this Christmas a little longer–because I pray for its spirit to work all year long, every day.
So here is Away in a Manger, sung by the Lutheran Warbler.
Youtube has this mislabeled as Joy to the World, which is what I expected to hear when I clicked it. But what comes out is this beautiful performance, by the kids at Fountainview Academy, of Away in a Manger.
Think about it. To a world boiling over with wickedness, suffering, sin, and death, God sends, to repair it and redeem it… a baby in a manger.
Christianity is an excitingly wild idea. The more you think on it, the wilder it gets. But as C.S. Lewis said, “He’s not a tame lion.”