ONCE IN A MANGER by Tom Krause
Once in a manger, a long time ago,
Before there was Santa and reindeer and snow,
A star shone down on humble beginnings below
Of a baby just born who the world would soon know.
Never before had there been such a sight.
Would the Son of a King have to suffer this plight?
Aren’t there armies to lead? Aren’t there battles to fight?
Shouldn’t He conquer the world and demand His birthright?
No, this frail little infant asleep in the hay
Would change the whole world with the words He would say.
Not about power or demanding His way,
But mercy and loving and forgiving God’s way.
For only through humbleness would the battle be won
As shown by the actions of God’s only true son.
Who gave up His life for the sins of everyone,
Who saved the whole world when His journey was done.
Many years have now passed since that night long ago
And now we have Santa and reindeer and snow
But down in our hearts the true meaning we know,
It is the birth of that child that makes Christmas so.
SANTA IN THE MANGER by Barb Cash
We got a card the other day
A Christmas one, in fact,
But it really was the strangest thing
And showed such little tact.
For laying in the manger
Was Santa, big as life,
Surrounded by some little elves
And Rudolph and his wife.
There was so much excitement
That the shepherds saw the glow
Of Rudolph’s bright and shining nose
Reflected on the snow.
So in they rushed to see him
Followed by the wise men three,
Who came not bearing any gifts—
Just some stockings and a tree.
They gathered round about him
To sing praises to his name;
A song about Saint Nicholas
And how he came to fame.
Then they handed him the lists they’d made
Of, oh, so many toys
That they were sure they would receive
For being such good boys.
And sure enough, he chuckled,
While reaching in his bag,
And placed in all their outstretched hands
A gift that bore a tag.
And on that tag was printed
A simple verse that read,
“Even though it’s Jesus’ birthday,
Please take this gift instead.”
Then I realized they really did
Know Who this day was for
Though by every indication
They had just chosen to ignore.
And Jesus looked upon this scene,
His eyes so filled with pain—
They said this year’d be different
But they’d forgotten Him again.
THE STRANGER IN THE MANGER Seunlá Oyekola
He was cradled in a manger,
Saddled to a strange land.
Stranger he was to his kinfolks,
Strangers he brought into his kingdom.
In humility, he left his deity to save humanity.
His throne he descended
To bear thorns and cross for you and me.
A servant of all he became.
Prodigals and paupers
He made princes and priests.
I can never stop wondering
How he turns wanderers into wonderers
And makes apostates apostles.
He’s still in the trade of making something beautiful of any life;
A vessel of honor out of dirty clay!
Please don’t keep on being estranged,
Come to the Potter, your Maker.
CHRISTMAS PRAYER By Rev. Lia Icaza Willetts
Loving God, on this Christmas Day,
We praise the new born child,
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We open our eyes to see the mystery of faith.
We claim the promise of Emmanuel “God with us.”
We remember that our Savior was born in a manger
And walked as a humble suffering savior.
Lord, help us to share the love of God
With everyone we encounter,
To feed the hungry, cloth the naked,
And stand against injustice and oppression.
We pray for the ending of war
And rumors of war.
We pray for peace upon the Earth.
We thank you for our families and friends
And for the many blessings we have received.
We rejoice today with the best gifts
Of hope, peace, joy
And the love of God in Jesus Christ.