Written by Lise Caldwell
The Wexford Carol
Good people all, this Christmas-time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done,
In sending His beloved Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day:
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born.
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom God’s angels did appear,
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
“Prepare and go,” the angels said,
“To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
For there you’ll find, this happy morn,
A princely Babe, sweet Jesus born.”
With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the Babe to find,
And as God’s angel had foretold,
They did our Saviour Christ behold.
Within a manger He was laid,
And by his side the Virgin Maid,
As long foretold, there was a blessed Messiah born
I’ve never read the lyrics to this carol before. So many carols focus on the experience of the shepherds. I imagine the lyricists recognized that the shepherds are the people most like us–ordinary folks who have the amazing privilege of hearing the good news of Jesus’ birth. A privilege but also a responsibility. Now that we have heard, our job indeed is to “prepare and go.” Go to worship Jesus–as people all over the world are doing today. Prepare to tell others about who he is and what he’s done. Take time today–to prepare.