Child in Manger

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: REGINA

Lyrics as Poetry

Child in manger, mother near–
Gentle Joseph, is it clear?
Deep the meaning of this hour;
God draws close with healing power!

Child in manger, stars above–
Shepherds do you sense the love?
Love takes flesh in midst of time,
dares to know the sweat and grime.

Child in manger, frost that’s keen–
Stablehand, what’s in this scene?
That which was familiar ground
now is where our God is found.

Child in manger, blankets worn–
Guests more welcome would you scorn?
Poor are blessed by what God’s done;
new life promised is begun.

Child in manger, cooing bird–
Wise ones can you read this word?
Word of God’s creative power
claims and fills this precious hour.

Child in manger, life around–
Mary, will what’s lost be found?
Life of service has begun;
Cross of love will claim your son.

Child in manger, fire to cheer–
Travelers do you dare come near?
This is love that dares to lose;
This the life that we now choose.


Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1976 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

A Reflection by
WALTER FARQUHARSON


This simple Christmas carol seeks to see into the heart of each of the figures of the familiar nativity scene. It affirms the central message of incarnation, of God’s identification with the human family and the proclamation of a new day that would be marked by God’s serving love that has been turned loose to heal and restore places of brokenness in hearts and relationships.

I understand that it was in 1960 that the Saltcoats United Church was gifted with a nativity scene made by Dave Kerr, an elder of the local church. Pre-painted paper figures were attached to sheets of plywood and cut out, supplied with a hinged appendage that allows each character to stand securely. For over fifty years it quietly told the Christmas story from its unquestioned position in the sanctuary. For the past few years it has been placed outside the church building near the front door, claiming a different location but, still treasured, reminding those who pay attention of God’s love and of the promise renewed of a day of peace, justice, good will.

I sat in the front pew of the Saltcoats Church. The nativity scene was in place in front of and surrounding the communion table. Over the years the story has been told and sung. It has happened in majestic cathedrals, richly and artistically appointed. It has happened in the simplest of chapels. The mystery and love has claimed worshippers upon a snowy hillside, in a farmer’s warm barn, on sandy beaches. And here, in this place.

How appropriate is this placement around the table. “Beth-lehem” means “House of Bread”. Within this community of Saltcoats there will be families of Ukrainian and other eastern European heritage who will eat their traditional Christmas supper in a room where the floor has been covered with clean sweet-smelling straw.

“That which was familiar ground
now is where our God is found.”

May we be attuned to this truth. May it envelop us.

“Word of God’s creative power
claims and fills this precious hour.”

This would be a good time to read John’s Gospel, Chapter 1, verse 14.


Audio Sample

CHILD IN MANGER
One Verse
played on piano by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • Luke 1:26-33
  • Luke 1:46-55
  • Luke 2:1-20

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Christmas
  • Christmas Eve
  • Heal, Healing
  • Jesus∶ birth
  • Joseph (father of Jesus)
  • Nativity
  • Service, Serving
  • Shepherds (nativity)
  • Word

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