Advent Calendar | Dec. 19

6 Days Until Christmas




“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which God has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.” (Luke 2:15-16)



'The Adoration of the Shepherds," by Gerard von  Honthorst, 1622

‘The Adoration of the Shepherds,” by Gerard von Honthorst, 1622

Away in a manger,
No crib for his bed,
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay.

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.

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.



1. No one knows who wrote “Away in the Manger.”

2. Tradition holds that church reformer Martin Luther wrote the song for his children and then German mothers passed it on. In fact, the song was titled “Luther’s Cradle Hymn” for a while. Modern research has proven Luther’s authorship unlikely.

3. Instead, the song probably was written as a poem for children in honor of Luther’s 400th birthday in 1883. Its first published appearance was in 1885 in the “Philadelphia Little Children’s Book for Schools and Families.”

4. More than 40 tunes have been used with the lyrics. In the United States, the tune we hear was composed by James Murray in 1887.

5. Other than the baby lying in a manger, the song has very little in common with the Bible’s story of Jesus’ birth. For instance, the Gospel of Luke does not mention cattle, nor does it say that Jesus did not cry as most newborns would.





May the Christ find a home in the manger of my heart. Amen.

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