Cradled in a manger, meanly, laid the Son of Man his head
There may be many of us beginning these reflections with the words, ‘This is my favourite carol…’ but every year I am heard to declare, This is my favourite carol!
I love the simplicity of it. In the midst of all the activity and extravagance and expense of Christmas it is good to be reminded that Jesus is the joyous reason for the season.
I have had to look up the meaning of ‘meanly’ in the first verse. It doesn’t mean selfishly or nasty, but ‘in a poor, lowly, or humble manner’. Just don’t forget the commas.
And whenever I sing the last verse, I remember the book by C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when Narnia is gripped in a spell where it is always winter and never Christmas, and I always think how sad that thought is.
But perhaps not so sad as those who celebrate Christmas but don’t realise the meaning behind the name. Those for whom Christmas Day is all tinsel and trinkets, and, for that matter, those who forget that Jesus was more than a baby cradled in a manger.
Let us pray for those who rush around
to get all the shopping done for Christmas Day,
and for those who remain hungry and alone.
Let us pray for those who have winter but no Christmas,
and for fresh opportunities of revealing Christ’s love to others. Amen.