Advent 4 – A hymn – ‘Like many children’

Advent 4 A hymn - Like many children - God with no throne 
(inspired by Matthew 1: 18-25)...away in a manger?

Like many children, 
mother unmarried, 
born into hardship, 
yet not alone
Jesus, was valued, 
Mary and Joseph, 
nursing the Godhead, 
God with no throne.

Others would name him 
king of a kingdom, 
yet God incarnate 
lay in the straw, 
God in a manger? 
Fodder for cattle?
Parents uncertain, 
no sign of awe?

Soon they would struggle, 
hounded to exile, 
night brought no comfort, 
only one star; 
moment of wonder, 
quietly, no thunder, 
angels would whisper, 
heard from afar.

Andrew Pratt 11/12/2022
Words © 2022 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: 5.5.5.4D
Tune: BUNESSAN (Morning has broken)




A tension stalked the stage – another Advent/Christmas hymn

The gospel reading of the Fourth Sunday in Advent tells of the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth and Mary’s prophetic song which we know as the Magnificat (Luke 1: 39-55). This Sunday’s hymn reaches further than this. It has for its background an occupied country, a census involving a journey and the song of a young woman which anticipates the birth of a child who will bring radical challenge and change to the world – if only we would hear and follow him…

A tension stalked the stage, 
an occupying force, 
and in this context Mary sang. 
The world could alter course.
Once humbled by her God, 
demeaned, yet she felt blessed, 
her life now mingled joy and pain, 
from now she'd never rest.

And those in every age 
are challenged by her song, 
the paupers free to pray again - 
for those who did them wrong;
while princes are appalled,
for those who once held power 
will find their status racked right down, 
and that within this hour.

For where injustice meets 
with worship lived and prayed, 
the social order swings around, 
the powerful are dismayed;
and that includes us all, 
our power is sapped away, 
while genuine humility 
at last will have its day.

Andrew E Pratt 
Words © 2015 © Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: DSM
Tune: LEOMINSTER