1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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 E Pratt (born 1948)
© 2018 Stainer and Bell Ltd.
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Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO; ST CATHERINES COURT