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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Come and behold him

Where? In the manger, in ourselves

"Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head."

It's a beloved carol. Sometimes called "Luther's Cradle Hymn," this song was actually written in the U.S. to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Martin Luther's birth in 1883.
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We're so used to singing these words about Baby Jesus in the manger that we're no longer as shocked by the image as we should be.

Stop and think for a minute about the jarring difference. A manger is made for animals, not humans. Babies belong in a crib or cradle, made for tender nurture. But the Babe lies in a manger — hard, harsh, filled with prickly hay. The song is sweet and gentle, but the reality was not.


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August issue

AUGUST issue:

Advice for evangelism

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