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Tag: #rethinkchristmas

Mary’s Lullaby (Away in a Manger) – Lyrics Adapted by Ruth and Robb

Since the late 19th century, The Church has been held hostage to one of the most theologically facile songs that has ever been sung during a service. All of the accusations of “pie in the sky when you die” and a “bearded man in the sky” can be found in this universal favourite.  When combined in a service filled with “baby” Jesus and the Christmas “Story” references, The Church has been inoculating people to the revolutionary faith we have in Christ.

Away in a Manger has become such a large part of our wider cultural memory that planning a service without it can cause disagreements both inside the church community and outside of it. Ruth and I have talked about this problem for many years.  A couple of years ago we wondered what it would be like if Away in a Manger was as revolutionary as the Magnificat. Using those words as our inspiration we decided to rewrite Away in a Manger from the perspective of Mary looking at her newborn child.

We have used it for the last couple of years in a variety of different contexts and it goes down really well.  We reworked it for Metanoia and the Rock Mass but we’re only half way through recording it so here is a simple arrangement to show how it could be used on organ or guitar.

Let’s take back Christmas!  Please use it freely in worship and schools.  If you want to credit us as “Ruth and Robb Sutherland” you’d make our day.

Mary’s Lullaby (Away in a Manger)

“Away in a manger, asleep on the hay,
I will watch over you at the end of the day,
The stars in the bright sky shine down where you lie,
As angels sing ‘Glory be to God on high’.”

“My spirit rejoices, for news of your birth
Like wildfire will spread over all of the earth;
A light in our darkness, a hope for the poor,
God’s gift to all people of life evermore.”

“Your name shall be Jesus, for this holy night
Is fulfilment of promise through God’s saving might;
But now sleep in peace, as I sing lullaby,
I will stay by your side til your dawning is nigh.”

– Lyrics adapted by Ruth and Robb Sutherland

Justice – Advent, Day 13

Advent 13 - Justice

Day 13 of the Advent Photography Challenge is Justice.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; •
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed; •
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

He has mercy on those who fear him, •
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm •
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

Casting down the mighty from their thrones •
and lifting up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things •
and sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, •
to remember his promise of mercy,

The promise made to our ancestors, •
to Abraham and his children for ever.

– Mary

I’m attempting to do the Advent photo a day challenge. I am three days behind because I fit a new hard drive, operating system and new and shiny Lightroom and Photoshop. Am now playing catchup with photos I’ve taken.

Check out the Facebook Group.

Hope – Advent Day 12

Advent 12 - Hope

Day 12 of the Advent Photography Challenge is Hope.

I’m attempting to do the Advent photo a day challenge. I am three days behind because I fit a new hard drive, operating system and new and shiny Lightroom and Photoshop. Am now playing catchup with photos I’ve taken.

Check out the Facebook Group.

Steadfast – Advent, Day 11

Advent 11 - Steadfast

Day 11 of the Advent Photography Challenge is Steadfast.

This is my trusty YJM 100. Essentially, a Plexi – the amp that built rock as we know it. Ask Mr Hendrix!

I’m attempting to do the Advent photo a day challenge. I am three days behind because I fit a new hard drive, operating system and new and shiny Lightroom and Photoshop. Am now playing catchup with photos I’ve taken.

Check out the Facebook Group.