Christmas Hymn

An unmarried mother gave birth in a stable by Andrew Pratt

Andrew Pratt

An unmarried mother gave birth in a stable,
some saw a fulfilment of all they had heard,
to others this story, the birth of the Godhead,
was more than amazing, was frankly absurd.

Some delved into scripture and said that a virgin,
was destined to carry a child who would grow
to be a Messiah, salvation for nations,
and others would question how history could know.

So back to the story, now Bethlehem beckons,
a carpenter-pawn come to sign for the state,
the bureaucrats needing a list for taxation
and everyone hurries before it’s too late.

A legend would grow up of shepherds and magi,
no snow at this Christmas beneath a night’s sky.
A man who would die as a crucified preacher
was born with sparse shelter as people passed by.

And so came the story of birth in a stable,
of Bethlehem’s journey, a virgin and child.
And lost is the essence, the mystery and wonder,
of God born among us abused and reviled.

Much later a soldier saw God in this prophet
a man who would love to his very last breath
the dying, the hopeless, those outside religion,
and all those beside who had shared in his death.

Andrew Pratt 22/11/2017
© Stainer & Bell Ltd.

This hymn may be used freely locally, provided a CCL return is made.

Rhidian Griffiths writes:

You will remember that Andrew Pratt’s ‘Christmas Hymn’ appeared before Christmas. As I read it, I kept hearing in my head the music of a traditional Welsh carol, and I have adapted two phrases from the carol to make a very simple setting of Andrew’s words. Andrew has seen and approved the setting.

Attached is Rhidian’s PDF. Only the first verse is given with the music, but the remaining verses are above. The tune may be freely used by anyone.