The Gift He Gave

One of the most delightful things I have ever seen in a children’s Christmas program, was the singing of this song, by children whose faces were surrounded by large, animal, cardboard cutouts.

At first, I thought the song quaint but rather meaningless.  Upon further reflection, however, I believe it holds before us a serious truth.  The scriptures say that the whole creation longs for the appearing of the Savior.  Should we not also, then, conclude that the whole creation delighted in His birth?  Are the psalms not full of references to various living creatures worshiping the Lord?  Perhaps it is not so far fetched to give voice to the animals surrounding Christ’s birth – which is  what this song attempts to do.
Beyond that, it subtly challenges all of us, to think whether we have given whatever we are and have – be it ever so simple – as a gift to Immanuel.
~Pastor Bert Hitchcock

This song has it roots in a 12th century Latin song “Orientis Partibus”, but when it made its way into England it began to take on its modern form.  The song as we know it, seems to have come from Robert Davis in the 1930s — with some variations, as people continue to write additional verses.

Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town.”
“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

“I,” said the cow all white and red
“I gave Him my manger for His bed;
I gave him my hay to pillow his head.”
“I,” said the cow all white and red.

“I,” said the sheep with curly horn,
“I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.”
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn.

“I,” said the dove from the rafters high,
“I cooed Him to sleep so He would not cry;
We cooed him to sleep, my mate and I.”
“I,” said the dove from the rafters high.

Thus every beast by some good spell,
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Immanuel,
The gift he gave Immanuel.

 

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One thought on “The Gift He Gave

  1. Pingback: The Gift He Gave | Christians Anonymous

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