As I listen to a two hour collection of hymns and carols playing from the talented hands of pianist Tim Janis this morning, my mind fills in the lyrics.
Sometimes I repeat certain verses and lines that are my favorites.
Away in the Manger is a song that was a year round lullaby in our home.
I never just left it at the end of December but sang it throughout the months to rock little Reimers to sleep.
Probably because I stand a prayer of hitting most of the notes of this easy song and then there is just the assurance in a nursery setting that Jesus knows and understands what it is to be a little one in need of comfort.
Because He allowed Himself to come to us that way.
Vulnerably in need of His earthly mother and father.
Fragile and helpless.
The God of Creation coming as one of His own.
Entering life here on earth through a birth canal just like you and me.
Experiencing all we experience.
Tempted, it says, in every way…just like us.
The lyrics of Away in the Manger are not grand and complicated.
They are spoken as a little one might speak to Jesus.
Child like words.
And perhaps that is the draw of Christmas in many ways.
All the emphasis on toys and joy, surprise and wonder, the fun of traditions and the anticipation of parties and such…because inside we are children.
And it is as children that we approach our Father.
He calls us His beloved.
He looks on us and sees His own precious Son and leans forward to meet us.
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 take us to heaven to live with Thee there <3