Away in a Manger
Away in a manger, no crib for a 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.
One of my earliest Christmas memories was singing Away in a Manger. I can’t remember if I learned it in Sunday School or at the knee of my Grandmother; probably both are true. It was the first Christmas carol that I memorized and I’m sure that is true of my own children. The first verse of the carol provides a simple and clear description of how we picture the birth of the Christ child. No crib or heated room, but a manger full of hay.
As I have matured in my faith journey and been more attentive to all the verses of this beloved Christmas song, my understanding of the carol has changed. While it starts with the imagery of the birth of Jesus, it is so much more. The third verse serves as a powerful prayer to keep Jesus close to us and for him to be a protector to all the dear children. If we strive to live in close communion with Jesus and love and care for those around us, we are preparing ourselves to be fit for heaven and spending eternity with our Savior.
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 fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.
— Pat Wilson