~* AWAY IN A MANGER *~
Source unknown (stanzas 1 & 2)
John Thomas McFarland, 1851-1913 (stanza 3)

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7

No Christmas song is more loved than this tender children's carol. With its simply worded expression of love for the Lord Jesus and trust in His faithful care, the hymn appeals to young and old alike. It is usually one of the first Christmas songs learned in early childhood; yet its pleasing melody and gentle message preserve it in our affections all through life.

For some time "Away in a Manger" was titled "Luther's Cradle Hymn". It was thought to have been written by Martin Luther for his own children and then passed on by German mothers. Modern research discounts this claim however. Stanzas one and two first appeared in the Little Children's Book, published in Philadelphia in 1885. The third verse was written by a Methodist minister, Dr. John T. McFarland, in the early 1900's when an additional stanza for this carol was desired for use at a church children's day program.

[From Jennifer: our son Caleb has requested this song every night since he was about 2 1/2! And all 3 verses of it, too! It makes a wonderful year 'round lullaby.]

How important it is that we take time to help our children see beyond the glitter of the Christmas season and teach them the true meaning of the celebration: the Christ Child's birth. The most thrilling story ever known to man began in Bethlehem in a manger!



Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky 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 cradle 'til 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.



*For Today*: Matthew 8:20; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 2:12 & 16

Use this season to enjoy times of family worship. Include the reading of the Christmas story--Luke 2:1-20. Share personal insights from the story, dramatize the various events, sing and play the carols, pray together, and discuss how the family could share their joy with others.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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