wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                                Incarnate  8 of 21   theme christmas    HOME  


   

The magi at the empty manger

First voice

Now that we’ve found

that the manger is empty

and the child that was born

moves on with our limbs,

we bring the world’s riches

like gold, brightly shining

what will you do with them,

baby of Bethlehem?

 

Will we hoard them all selfishly

in our own heaven,

squander them rashly

while pleasures remain,

or spend them all lovingly

for friend and stranger,

trading our talents

for everyone’s gain?

Second voice

Now that we’ve found

that the manger is empty

and the child that was born

thinks on through our minds,

we bring the world’s prayers

like incense, slow rising

what will you do with them,

baby of Bethlehem?

 

Will we answer them selfishly,

taking our profit,

using them ruthlessly,

priming our power,
or hear them all lovingly,

each need embracing,

listening patiently

hour after hour?

 

Third voice

Now that we’ve found

that the manger is empty

and the child that was born

lives on till our deaths,
we bring the world’s hopes

like myrrh, all embalming

what will you do with them,

baby of Bethlehem?

 

Will we crush them all selfishly,

scornful in judgment,

scatter them recklessly

on winds of strife,

or sow them all lovingly

ground in endurance,

seeds of your suffering,

growing to life?


Written for the carol service at St John’s, West Ealing in 2017. 

Performed by three speakers each holding out a box representing one of the gifts, and placing them in an empty manger at the end of each voice.

I have set this to music as "Epiphany song". I expect to record it in due course but a lead sheet of melody and chords is available from me by email here.

Godfrey Rust, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for details of permissions for use.