Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


TIMELESS HYMN - A special monthly feature where I highlight some of my favorite hymns that have been featured previously in this blog.  These entries are revised and expanded and shared again for our encouragement and challenge.  This hymn was first shared here on December 25, 2011

          One of the very first Christmas carols that children learn to sing is the familiar "Away In A Manger".  This carol shares some of the things that baby Jesus might have experienced upon his birth in the stable in Bethlehem.  But the carol is also a simple prayer for the Lord's presence in the daily lives of those who sing it.  What a simple but profound song.  But there are numerous opinions about the writing of this carol. According to Wikipedia, the online dictionary, the song was first published with two verses in an Evangelical Lutheran Sunday School collection, "Little Children's Book for Schools and Families" (1885).  It bore the title "Away in a Manger" and was set to a tune called "St. Kilda" by J.E. Clark. For many years the text was credited to the German reformer Martin Luther. Research has shown, however, that this is nothing more than a fable. In the book "Dainty Songs for Little Lads and Lasses" (1887) the song has the title "Luther's Cradle Hymn" and the note, "composed by Martin Luther for his children, and still sung by German mothers to their little ones." A possible reason for the attribution to Luther is that the 400th anniversary of his birth was in 1883 and the words were either based on a poem written for this anniversary or were credited to Luther as a clever marketing gimmick. However this song has never been found in Luther's works. The third stanza, "Be near me, Lord Jesus" was first printed in Gabriel's "Vineyard Songs" (1892), where it appeared with a tune by Charles H. Gabriel (simply marked "C").  So these words are probably by Gabriel. Gabriel credited the entire text to Luther and gave it the title "Cradle Song." But no matter who actually wrote it, it has been part of most Christmas celebrations for many years. The thoughts and words can easily be understood and appreciated by those of all ages.  It includes prayers for the new Savior to stay by our side, to be near us, to love us and some day to take us to heaven to live with Him there.  I think my favorite line is "I love Thee Lord Jesus".  And that should be our daily prayer. Now let's not forget that the Babe born in the manger was the same Son of God who later hung on the cross and then rose from the dead for the payment of mankind's sins. And if you have never accepted Him as your personal Savior, doing so today would be the greatest Christmas gift you could ever receive.

(1) Away in a manger,
No crib for His 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

(2) The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes
I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side,
'Til morning is nigh.

(3) 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

Listen to it here    AWAY

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