Many of us had our first public performance with this carol.
Away In a Manger
"Shepherds were in the fields nearby watching over their flocks by night." But no creatures are featured at the Bethlehem location of Jesus' birth. If a shepherd shouldered a sheep to carry to Bethlehem, he likely intended to offer a sleepy sacrifice to the newborn King. Baaah! But lack of Biblical Bethlehem beasts has not stopped artists from including them. What's a manger without moos, or a cradle without camels? I sampled the oldest art to see which animals are most frequent. Get out your pencil and keep score in the following slide show.
Some have taken issue that although, "The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes", nevertheless "little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes." A non-crying baby? Is that a miracle or a mistake?
Be of good cheer. The song does not say Jesus never ever cried. The Bible notes that Jesus got hungry, that Jesus got thirsty, and that Jesus wept. Yet Jesus demonstrated extraordinary calm in a storm-tossed boat and before dangerous people. Psalm 50 has the LORD speaking:
Every animal of the forest is already mine.
The cattle on a thousand hills are mine.
I know every bird on the mountains,
and every living thing in the fields is mine.
As a farmboy, I heard cattle get excited and bellow. A cow that is lost, hungry, alarmed, or in love isn't afraid to say so. A lowing cow says, more than most reports I know, that, "All is calm, all is bright." Plausibly, there were cattle or oxen near their manger. Plausibly, baby Jesus found their words quite charming moo'd music.
Every kid should have a cow.
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.