Away in a manger

This is probably one of the best known carols and certainly the most popular for children to sing on stage whilst dressed in their Nativity costumes. It’s actually fairly modern – about 140 years old!

There is confusion about who wrote it. Many attribute it to Martin Luther, although there is no record of the song written in German! It has been known as Luther’s Cradle Song for mothers to sing their babies to sleep.

Not only is there debate on the author but there is some theological controversy on the line “the little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes,” which has been taken by some as denying Christ the full attributes of humanity by not behaving like a real human child. However, the author does not say that Jesus doesn’t cry at all, just not at that particular moment!

It’s a song for our times - about home, safety, and a little Child, sleeping peacefully. It gives us hope that a tiny child can bring us the security that we crave for our future, should we choose to follow Him.

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