The following is an excerpt from CHRISTMAS ANIMALS based on Luke 2:1-20
By Pastor Glenn Pease
The famous nativity scenes through the ages include the ox, donkey, sheep, camels,
and often the dove. One of our most famous Christmas hymns, Away In A Manger, says,
"The cattle are lowing the poor baby wakes but little Lord Jesus no crying He makes."
The emphasis on animals in the birth scene is not part of our contemporary life-style because the majority of people no longer live with animals. Back in the 12th century when everybody had a daily contact with their farm animals, they sang songs that stressed the role of the friendly beast in Christmas. They sang,
Jesus our brother kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood.
This song, sung over 800 years ago by Christians, reveals just how carefully they had thought
through the role of animals in the Christmas story. They had each animal tell of what they
Thus every beast by some good spell
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift He gave Immanuel.
I said the donkey shaggy and brown
Carried his mother uphill and down
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town.
I said the cow all white and red
Gave her my manger for His bed.
I gave Him my hay to pillow His head.
I said the sheep with curly horn
Gave Him my wool for His blanket warm.
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.
I said the dove, from the rafters high,
I cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry.
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I.
I said the camel yellow and black
Over the desert upon my back.
I brought Him a gift in the wise man's pack.
"Beneath The Snow Encumbered Branches" 1903 Joseph Farquharson
The painting above is my most favorite winter art work. I have this print hanging in my dining room. Read more about the original painting here.
Thank you for stopping to visit. ~ Diane