Scripture Verse

She brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7


Richard W. Adams (1952–)

Words: Ri­chard W. Ad­ams, 2007 & 2024 (pub­lic do­main). In­spired by a tra­di­tion­al Eng­lish ca­rol.

Music: Llang­lo­ffan, from Hym­nau a Tho­nau, by Da­ni­el S. Ev­ans (Lon­don: No­vel­lo, 1865) (🔊 pdf nwc).


Dedicated to Mar­tha Free­man & La­vern Hol­de­man of Com­mu­ni­ty Co­ve­nant Church, Oma­ha, Ne­bra­ska, in ce­le­bra­tion of Pas­tor Ap­pre­ci­ation Month & the church’s 20th an­ni­ver­sa­ry.


When Jo­seph went with Ma­ry
To Da­vid’s roy­al town,
With tra­vel­ing were they wea­ry,
Yet lodg­ing not they found;
They searched the ci­ty ov­er,
At ev­ery inn did call;
No room, they heard, and time again,
So stayed in ox­en’s stall.

No pa­lace fit for roy­al birth,
No pur­ple robes dis­close;
The King of Glo­ry, come from Heav’n,
A low­ly man­ger chose;
Our Sav­ior and Re­deem­er,
In swad­dling clothes en­twined,
The Babe whose life would be the price
To res­cue lost man­kind.

While shep­herds flocks were watch­ing,
And sleep­ing in the field,
Announcement of Im­ma­nu­el’s birth
Was sudd­en­ly re­vealed;
A sun-bright shin­ing an­gel,
Said, Fear not, I am here
To bring glad tid­ings of great joy,

But shep­herds shook with fear.

Shake off your fears and list­en—
Lo, you have cause to sing!
Here in the town of Da­vid
Tonight is born a king;
For God so loved the world that
He sent His on­ly Son;
Who plac­es faith in Him alone
Eternal life has won.

While shep­herds won­dered at the news
Then ra­di­ant hosts ap­pear,
Proclaiming, Glo­ry, peace on earth,
The Sav­ior now is near;
No long­er be a stran­ger,
He waits for you this night;
Go see the Prince in man­ger straw
In roy­al sta­ble bright.

They hast­ened un­to Beth­le­hem,
With ea­ger­ness did go,
They found the Child in swad­dling clothes,
Amazed that it was so;
Like them, do not re­ject Him,
Nor spurn that gra­cious call,
From One who came to earth for us,
The price to pay for all.

Seeking Lodging in Bethlehem
James Tissot (1836–1902)