Wednesday, 13 December 2006

I will not sing of shepherds

It's Aston, Cakes & UCE CUs' joint Carol Service this evening (w00t!) and I hope we'll sing some of the great carols which speak so clearly & well of what was actually going on at Christmas: Hark the herald, Joy to the world, Once in royal, O little town (after you've got over singing to a town, v1!)...

I admit I get bored halfway through While shepherds watched and start trying to not laugh at the apalling poetry which neither reads nor rhymes well, and the extremely snowy palestine of In the bleak midwinter cracks me up (quite apart from trying to make snow last over several notes) - and as for Away in a manger, it's sentimental drivel with a not-so-completely-human Jesus who doesn't cry.

How about this poem? [ht Phil Ryken]

Praise God for Christmas
Praise Him for the Incarnation
for Word made flesh.
I will not sing
of shepherds watching flocks
on frosty night
or angel choristers.
I will not sing
of stable bare in Bethlehem
or lowing oxen
wise men
trailing distant star
with gold and frankincense
and myrrh.
Tonight I will sing
praise to the Father
who stood on heaven's threshold
and said farewell to His Son
as He stepped across the stars
to Bethlehem
and Jerusalem.
And I will sing
praise to the infinite eternal Son
who became most finite
a Baby
who would one day
be executed
for my crimes.
Praise Him in the heavens.
Praise Him in the stable.
Praise Him in my heart.

(Joe Bayly)

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