Written by Lise Caldwell
Once in royal David’s city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby,
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little Child.
He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall:
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.
For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us, He grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles, like us He knew;
And He cares when we are sad,
And he shares when we are glad.
And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above:
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is gone.
Today my heart aches for friends who are hurting right now–because of private pain, because of loved ones who aren’t here this Christmas, because of struggles that seem even more overwhelming when the rest of the world is in a celebratory mood. I am comforted by the words of this carol. Sometimes when we are suffering, the most loving thing someone can do for us is be present. Hurt with us, and love us despite our fears, our doubts, our shortcomings and our sorrow. And when we have joy, the greatest gift a friend can give is to celebrate with us–without jealously, resentment, or bitterness. Jesus, the friend who sticks closer than a brother, indeed “cares when we are sad” and “shares when we are glad.” And through his “own redeeming love” he offers us hope for our sorrows, and a promise of joy far beyond our earthly reckoning.