The Christmas Story in Word and Music

R. David Pogge

18 December, 2011

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This week on The Word With Us, we bring you “The Christmas Story in Word and Music.”

He Made a Way in a Manger (Lee Black and Steve Merkel)
Sung and played by Dave Pogge.

Longing for a savior, a dying world would wait.
Sin demanded justice at a price we could not pay.
But God displayed his mercy, the greatest gift of love;
Because we could not reach heaven, heaven came to us.

(chorus)

He Made a Way in a Manger, a way through His Son.
Messiah the promised one, before time had begun.
For God so loved the world, though He knew what it would cost,
He Made a Way in a Manger to make a way to the cross.
In Bethlehem a stable became a throne of grace
As Jesus Christ our savior came down to take our place.
His mother smiled in wonder; the shepherds stood in awe
While the sacrifice of heaven lay sleeping in the straw.

(repeat chorus)

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:18-23)

O Come, O Come, Emanuel
Guitar solo by Dave Pogge.

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. (Matthew 1:24)

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. (Luke 2:1-5)

Angels attend Joseph and Mary as they journey from their home in Nazareth to the city of David. The decree of imperial Rome for the enrollment of the peoples of her vast dominion has extended to the dwellers among the hills of Galilee. As in old time Cyrus was called to the throne of the world's empire that he might set free the captives of the Lord, so Caesar Augustus is made the agent for the fulfillment of God's purpose in bringing the mother of Jesus to Bethlehem. She is of the lineage of David, and the Son of David must be born in David's city. Out of Bethlehem, said the prophet, "shall He come forth . . . that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin. But in the city of their royal line, Joseph and Mary are unrecognized and unhonored. Weary and homeless, they traverse the entire length of the narrow street, from the gate of the city to the eastern extremity of the town, vainly seeking a resting place for the night. There is no room for them at the crowded inn. In a rude building where the beasts are sheltered, they at last find refuge, and here the Redeemer of the world is born. (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Chapter 4, “Unto You a Saviour”, http://www.whiteestate.org/books/da/da4.html)

Breath of Heaven (Chris Eaton and Amy Grant)
Sung by Becky Richardson.

I have traveled many moonless nights,
Cold and weary with a babe inside;
And I wonder what I’ve done.
Holy Father, you have come
And chosen me now to carry your Son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer;
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now. Be with me now.

(chorus)
Breath of Heaven hold me together,
Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven.
Breath of Heaven , lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness, for you are holy.

Breath of Heaven.

Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong,
Help me be, help me.

(repeat chorus)

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)

Joseph’s Lullaby (Bart Millard and Brown Bannister)
Sung by Mike Miller.

Go to sleep, my Son, this manger for Your bed.
You have a long road before You;
Rest Your little head.
Can you fell the weight of Your glory?
Do you understand the price?
Or does the Father guard Your heart for now
So you can sleep tonight?

Go to sleep, my Son; go and chase Your dreams.
This world can wait for one more moment,
Go and sleep in peace.
I believe the glory of Heaven is lying in my arms tonight.
Lord I ask that He, just this moment, simply be my child.

Go to sleep my Son, Baby close Your eyes.
Soon enough You’ll save the day,
But for now,
Dear child of mine, O my Jesus, sleep tonight.

What Child is This?
Susan Pogge on keyboard with Dave Pogge on guitar.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:8-14)

Angel Carols
Ridgecrest United Methodist Church Brass Ensemble

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. (Luke 2:15-16)

Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow
Sung by Hud deFluiter accompanied by JoAn Witzel.

There’s a star in the east on Christmas morn.
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
It will lead to the place where the Savior’s born.
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

(chorus)
Leave you sheep and leave your lambs,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
Leave your ewes and leave your rams,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
Follow, Follow,
Rise up, shepherd and follow.
Follow the start of Bethlehem.
Rise up, shepherd and follow.

If you take good heed to the angel’s words,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
You’ll forget your flocks, you’ll forget your herds.
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

(repeat chorus)

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:17-20)

Once Upon a Christmas
Sung and played by Dave Pogge.

Once upon a Christmas far away in Bethlehem
Mary being great with child had no place to lie down.
So Joseph found a stable in which Mary had her child.
Once upon a Christmas was the birth of Jesus Christ.

Once upon a Christmas in a manger far away
A King was born, His palace was a manger filled with hay.
His royal robe was swaddling cloth, a halo was His crown.
Once upon a Christmas away in Bethlehem.

(chorus)
And all the world rejoiced because the King was born at last.
A savior had been promised now it had come to pass.
And the joyful news that He was born spread quickly far and wide.
Once upon a Christmas was the birth of Jesus Christ.

Once upon a Christmas from the Far East wise men came
With gold and myrrh and frankincense to praise the newborn King.
And shepherds left their flocks and came to see and worship Him.
Once upon a Christmas away in Bethlehem.

(repeat chorus)

(instrumental verse)

(repeat chorus)

Once upon a Christmas far away in Bethlehem.

Heaven and earth are no wider apart today than when shepherds listened to the angels' song. Humanity is still as much the object of heaven's solicitude as when common men of common occupations met angels at noonday, and talked with the heavenly messengers in the vineyards and the fields. To us in the common walks of life, heaven may be very near. Angels from the courts above will attend the steps of those who come and go at God's command.

The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Rom. 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Chapter 4, “Unto You a Saviour”, http://www.whiteestate.org/books/da/da4.html)

Because we could not reach heaven, heaven came to us.
He Made a Way in a Manger, a way through His Son.

This program, “The Christmas Story in Word and Music,” included readings from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1, the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, and Chapter 4 of the Desire of Ages. Music was performed by Hud deFluiter, Mike Miller, Dave Pogge, Susan Pogge, Becky Richardson, JoAn Witzel, and the Ridgecrest United Methodist Church Brass Ensemble.