Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky look down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep in the hay.
(Away in a Manger, United Methodist Hymnal, #217)
I read recently that this classic hymn first appeared in the 1887 songbook Dainty Songs for Little Lambs and Lasses, which was compiled by James R. Murray. A notation under the song credited the Protestant reformer Martin Luther as the author of Away in a Manger, but that authorship has been disputed since then.
But, whoever penned the lyrics and composed the tune, it has become one of the favorite songs to sing during this time of year. Children around the world are familiar with this sweet Christmas carol. And that is certainly understandable, as even the smallest children can relate to a Savior who started out just as small as them! To that baby boy being rocked in his mother’s arms, they can sing, “Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me I pray.”
What does it mean to you that Jesus came to us in the form of a tiny, newborn baby?