1 How far it was to Bethlehem
for Mary, great with child,
and Joseph, trusted with the one
upon whom God had smiled!
From Nazareth to Jericho,
then up a long, steep road,
they journeyed on to David’s town
with their most precious load.
2 They could not find a place to stay
save in a stable stall,
and there amid the animals
was born the Lord of all.
The heavens burst with angel-song
to shepherds on the hill:
“The Christ is born and peace will come
to people of good will.”
3 The shepherds hurried off to find
this new-born baby boy.
“The Promised One is here, at last!
Our hearts are filled with joy!”
They knelt before his manger bed,
and gazed upon the face
that showed in its sweet countenance
Love’s gift of peace and grace.
4 How far it is to Bethlehem
for us who live today,
who bear the burdens of our doubts
and do not trust Love’s way.
God, as we journey on in life,
let angel-songs ne’er cease,
that, like the shepherds, we may find
in Christ a hope for peace.
Mary Nelson Keithahn, a retired United Church of Christ ordained pastor and church educator, has been a curriculum writer-editor, journalist, and lyricist for musical dramas and anthems. She still works out of her home in Rapid City, South Dakota, as a free-lance writer. In 2016 she published Elfie: Adventures on the Midwest Frontier, a chapter book for children, and Embracing the Light: Reflectioins on God’s Holy Word, a collection of meditations for individual or small group use. Augsburg Fortress also published Sing the Stories of God’s NEW People, the third in a trilogy of Bible story-based collections of songs for young children, written with her longtime colleague, John D. Horman. The two have written over a hundred hymns togethe… Go to person page >
Display Title: How Far It Was to BethlehemFirst Line: How far it was to BethlehemTune Title: JERICHO ROADAuthor: Mary Nelson KeithahnMeter: CMD ExtendedScripture: Luke 2:4-5Date: 2017Subject: Christmas | Journey to Bethlehem