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No Room at the Inn
Written by Lucette Forrest, 19 November, 1987
Born in a stable – just what does that mean?
Pray pause for a moment and picture the scene:
A cave in a hillside with no light or fire,
But with donkeys and cows and a babe in that byre.
He was placed in a manager, on sweet smelling hay,
By his young virgin mother, contented he lay.
With the moist breath of animals scenting the air,
While humanity went on its way, unaware.
Except for some shepherds, to whom angels said
They’d find him in a stable in a manger bed.
Joseph, so patient and kindly, looked on
While his wife fed a baby who wasn’t his son.
Then there also came travellers from a far land,
Led by a new star, with portent so grand;
Enquiring of Herod ‘Where is the king?’
Then going to Bethlehem, presents to bring.
Each warned in dreams not to trust Herod the Great,
But to journey straight home and leave him to his hate.
And Joseph, too, told in a dream they must flee
To Egypt, where Jesus was a refugee.
Born in a stable and, later, exiled
Was the fate of our Lord, who was God’s only child.
He grew in a home where they lived modestly,
For no on gets rich who does mere carpentry.
He learned how to use chisel, screwdriver and saw,
How to smooth with a plan, with a drill how to bore.
He worked as a dutiful eldest son should,
And fashioned to beauty his medium, wood.
And, when younger brothers were old enough, went
From his home to begin to do as he was meant.
He preached and he healed, he explained and he loved,
While great crowds gathered wherever he moved.
He blessed fish and some loaves and a multitude fed,
With twelve baskets of scraps of the fish and the bread.
He walked on the water, he made the storm cease
And by his very presence brought pardon and peace.
He made the deaf hear and gave sight to the blind,
Raised folk from the dead and was gentle and kind.
He entered Jerusalem, lowly and meek,
On a donkey on day in the Passover week.
He came to fulfil his great Father’s will
To die on a cross on the brow of a hill.
Two criminals with him, one on either side,
On a rubbish dump the Lord of all the earth died,
Naked and suffering acute agony.
Born in a stable, he died on a tree.