A New Hymn for Christmastide, by Pr. Fred Baue

(Editor’s Note: In the last few days we have  emphasized the gay agenda in the LCMS, and there is more to come on this,  but remembering that BJS is  more about building up the church than  it is critiquing the church, we offer for the Brothers’ edification a nice break  via this new hymn text by Pastor Baue. The two weeks of Christmas are filled with great and profound  stories of Holy Scripture. This hymn captures those stories and would be great to sing  at the Divine Service on December 28  or for  personal devotion on the 26th, 27th and 28th. Are there any parishes out there that do Matins or Morning Prayer on these feast days?)

(Tune: Tree of Life LSB 561)


1.  December 25 The Nativity of Our Lord

O Jesus Christ, born of a maid,

In lowly manger you were laid.

The sheep and ox in silence stood

Around this cradle made of wood.

For you were born on Christmas Day,

The Lamb who took our sins away

As all Creation, speechless, cried,

When on a wooden cross you died.


2.  December 26 St. Stephen, the First Martyr

You rolled the stone of death away

And rose alive on the Eighth Day;

Ascended to your throne on high

To rule and reign, no more to die.

St. Stephen by a stone was killed,

Yet he gave witness as God willed.

He saw your glory as he died.

“O Lord, forgive their sins,” he cried.


3.  December 27 St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

Lord Jesus Christ, Incarnate Word,

You danced and sang and made the world,

And dwelt among us—truth and grace

And love to save our fallen race.

As St. John leaned upon your breast,

By faith he came to peace and rest,

Confessing all he saw and heard

That we through him might love the Word.


4.  December 28 The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

Why do the heathen rage and spite?

Like Herod on that bloody night.

In anger vain he drew his sword

To kill the Everlasting Word.

The blessed Holy Innocents

Said not a word, gave no defense.

Yet by their blood they signify

That little saints can testify.


5. Doxology

Now let us praise the Three in One:

The Father, Spirit, and the Son,

Incarnate full in Christ the Lord.

He came to bring not peace, but sword,

And sent forth holy martyrs true,

Who boldly spoke of what they knew.

May we take their example good—

Confessing, though it cost our blood.  


Meter: 88 88 88 88


Copyright © 2008 Frederic W. Baue

The author hereby grants permission to reproduce, by print or electronic means, at no charge, the text of this hymn during the 2008 Christmas season.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


A New Hymn for Christmastide, by Pr. Fred Baue — 6 Comments

  1. That looks really good Rev. Baue! I hope it’s okay that I sang it all just now and didn’t wait for the appointed days . Thanks for sharing this gift. Jeremy

  2. Don’t mean to nitpick, but weren’t the mangers in Bethlehem made of stone? At least that is what we were told when we were there because that is what the animals ate and drank from. Otherwise, love the words.

  3. Oh sorry, didn’t see relation to wood cross before I posted. Still, I wonder about the veracity of the wooden manger since wood was in such short supply in that part of the world.

    Second nitpick, don’t kill me. We seem to put the cart before the horse when we say Christ was born on Christmas Day as though Dec 25 was preordained. Wouldn’t it be better to say we honor the day when Christ was born and call it Christmas (whenever that really was?)

    Okay, now you can blast me. 🙂

  4. “The sheep and ox in silence stood. Around this cradle made of wood.”

    That is not Biblical. We don’t know if the sheep and ox were being silent, nor do we know what exact materials the cradle was made out of – as was previously pointed out. The song elevates a mere conjecture into a statement of faith. The song also lacks a clear emphasis on the Divinity of Christ, which really should be a major theme for Christmas. If you can fix up those words, it could be used with a clear conscience.

  5. Hi Gayle, there was some pretty good, reasonable, and logical work done fairly recently (at least since 2000) that Dec. 25 was the day of Jesus’ birth. I am not saying that it was ‘pre-ordained’ but I believe that we can rest comfortably with the tradition of the Church that Jesus was born on Dec. 25. Early Christian communities, from the first and second centuries, were celebrating Jesus’ birth at this time.

    Some of the things that lead to this are the time when Zechariah the priest was serving in the temple, reinforcing the connection with Mary and Elizabeth being together during their pregnancies and the work of their offspring. There is also the Jewish tradition that great prophets had their day of conception and day of death in common. March 25, 2005 was both Good Friday and Annunciation Day. (And some people hold the day of conception in higher regard than the day of birth, because life begins at conception, so the baby is really nine months old when he or she makes their first public appearance.)

    If it is okay, I’ll nitpick your nitpick and say that we do indeed honor the day of Christ’s birth and we call it Christmas and it happens to be Dec. 25.

    Blessings on your Advent preparation for the celebration of Christmas! Jeremy

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