The continuing international crisis over refugee families trying to find a place to be safe is cast into sharp relief as Christmas approaches.
It makes the Bible story of Mary and Joseph travelling the 100 miles on foot and by donkey to Bethlehem all the more a story for our time. It makes the birth of Jesus in a stable all the more potent as a symbol of one who came as an outcast.
This song speaks of the mother who hears the angel’s promise and watches some unlikely pilgrims kneel and hail her refugee baby in the filth of a Bethlehem stable.
You can sing it to the folk song Scarlet Ribbons or, if you have a long memory, to the old Seekers’ hit The Carnival is Over. The metre is 126.96.36.199.D.
Mary in the stable waiting.
hears again the angel’s voice:
‘favoured one the Lord is with you,
all Creation sings: ‘Rejoice!’
Mary waits, and heaven wonders,
at the Prince of Glory’s birth
from her womb, inside that stable,
heaven’s waiting room on earth.
Shepherds waiting on the mountain,
Wise Men searching for a sign,
hear that outcasts can be welcomed
at the baby Jesus’ side.
So the earth’s unlikely pilgrims
find themselves upon their knees
and a teenage mother watches
as they hail a refugee.
Son of God and hope of heaven,
with the waiting ones on earth,
we expect a world of diff’rence
when your justice comes to birth.
So the world is waiting, hoping
for the promised day to dawn;
when our longings find fulfilment
through the babe in Bethlehem born.
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