The Real Manger Scene

Read the lyrics, enjoy the music, and remember that Mary was no china doll:

I have a little manger scene I unpack every year,
I put it on the mantle way up high
Safe from puppy dogs, little hands and wrestling adolescents,
Who might break a piece and make me want to cry.

I’ve had that little manger scene of china and of glaze,
Since I was just a kid of 4 or 5
For years and years I looked at it believing every line,
Cause it made the ancient story come alive

It makes me sentimental, Though I know it didn’t happen quite that way
A little poetic license is OK.

In my little manger scene Mary’s got blue eyes,
she’s dressed in silk and satin like a queen
Joseph’s beard is neat and trim, just like his fingernails,
And everybody’s handsome and serene

The swaddled baby’s smiling up at three wise men standing guard,
So noble, not a sunburn neath their crowns
They’re hanging with the shepherds who are kneeling squeaky clean
on golden straw carpeting the ground

It’s all sleek and smooth and shining,
Tho’ I know it wasn’t quite like that, don’t you?
The truth is not quite so pretty, but it’s true

I bet Mary, she was saddle sore and Joseph couldn’t sleep
The wise men smelled like camels and the shepherds smelled like sheep
And the stable smelled like cattle and the things that cattle do
The baby woke up hungry every morning, half past two
And the straw got into everything, your shoes and in your hair
In the food and in the beds and on your nerves and everywhere

But our Mary, she’s no china doll, she’s a fighter through and through,
Joseph knows he has a job to do
There isn’t any stopping them, there isn’t any doubt,
Together they will see this journey through.

‘Cause she, she was a warrior, he was her strong right arm,
In a battle that they couldn’t comprehend
That baby was a treasure who would ransom all the world,
They’d carry him until he took his stand.

Even though Mary, she was saddle sore and Joseph couldn’t sleep
The wise men smelled like camels and the shepherds smelled like sheep
And the stable smelled like cattle and the things that cattle do
The baby woke up hungry every morning, half past two
And the straw got into everything, your shoes and in your hair
In the food and in the beds and on your nerves and everywhere

So if in my little manger scene, they look a little glazed
A little poetic license is OK.
Though I know it didn’t happen quite that way.

©2011 Ruth Wilkinson

A Different Christmas Commercial

It is common to decry the commercialism of Christmas even as we fail to recognize that our ideal of what the holiday should be has been shaped, to a large degree, by the very thing we criticize. Coca-Cola proudly claims that its advertising is largely responsible for the modern image of jolly old St. Nick.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued by a piece late last month about the holiday commercial for the British supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s. The nearly four-minute mini-movie depicts the famous 1914 Christmas Truce when German and British soldiers ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs.

While the commercial has been criticized from various quarters (read here), I am intrigued by it, especially the choice of background music. Do you recognize it? I wonder why that particular hymn was chosen? Any thoughts?

 

Editorial Errors

I don’t know who is writing the editorials at the local newspaper lately, but the grammar is atrocious. Here are just a few examples:

I am no Grammar Nazi (a term slapped on an internet commentator who corrects or points out a spelling or grammatical error made by another commentator). The occasional error is understandable. But the above, all from editorials published online in just the past month, are more than occasional. Perhaps most unfortunate however, is that the argument or point being made is weakened or lost in the confusion.

Advice from World’s Longest Married Couple

Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher

Although both have passed away now, Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher were married for almost 87 years. In 2010, they shared some advice on love and commitment in a Twitter Q&A.

Consider some of their counsel:

  • We grew up together & were best friends before we married. A friend is for life – our marriage has lasted a lifetime.
  • Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.
  • There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other & our family.
  • We are both Christians & believe in God.Marriage is a commitment to the Lord.We pray with & for each other every day.

Giving a Voice of Praise Back to God

Link: Music Society Strives to Get Christians Singing Again

Herbert Tsang, president of the non-profit Church Music Ministry of Canada, wants to help churches and church musicians return to where worship used to involve people lifting their voices in harmonious hymns of praise to God.

“That seems to be lost nowadays in most churches, as far as I’ve observed,” he says. “There’s an observer mentality. A lot of people do not really participate in the singing in the worship service, and we want to bring this back.”

The Christian Week article includes comments from singer-songwriter Steve Bell:

“Youth will only pay attention to the hymns if they [are convinced to by good] spiritual direction and mentorship. They won’t do it on the basis of [personal] preference and entertainment,” he says.

“Right now we’re often offering music in the church as entertainment. And that’s a shame.”