I used the Angel / Joseph dialogue from ‘Candles and Conifers’ before it…
It was a long hard road to Bethlehem,
We had been this way before
The hard and rocky ground
Our feet were really sore.
We walked for days, it seemed like months
Us and a few friends
All for ceaser to count his people
a simple decree that’s what he sent.
Others pass us by, they nod, some stare
Those that we have known
the shame of it all, disgrace, its unfair
She’s pregnant, by someone…
I know what she said
‘it’s God in there’
‘There’s no need to fear’
Try telling that to the neighbours
when they come to sneer
I wonder what they’ll make of me
when we’re all said and done
another wife, another life
someone else on the run.
It’s a long hard road to Bethlehem,
not one to take today
too many fences and no ID
you couldn’t go up this way
but we had none of that
just the road, she, the bump
donkey and me walking, the
hard road, not all the stones were under foot mind.
People must know by and large
what it’s like to have an unknown child
being stared at is all, is enough to contend.
No money to speak of and this journey
it’s a long hard road to Bethlehem
this night and others.
It was a long hard road, but we made it in the end
a stable is all that was left and this stall
it’s all change now with babe on the way
it’s quiet in here now I hope it stays that way.
I wonder how they’ll imagine this night when were done
some lovely picture, some clean, pristine scene.
The dirt and the stench it’s grim beyond compare
no place for a babe to be born, really it’s not fair.
I wonder what they’ll say, how they’ll remember this day
will they remember the poverty into which this child was born
or the cold night, the damp stable forgotten, because
the king of Glory sits upon his throne of straw and wood.
Don’t forget, I beg you, please
the poverty of this moment
when all the world was changed with the humblest heartbeat and beginnings
It’s easy to forget, it’s easy to condone, the tinsel and the turkey when all is said and done.
Yet that babe is all, that babe, that place
and the long hard road to Bethlehem
which started so long ago.
I wonder what they’ll do to remember this event,
I know it’s God in there, this babe whose cries are spent.
I doubt they’ll make much fuss, it’s just another life
one born into obscurity, though I know he’ll have no wife, no house, no home.
Just another long hard road.
This son of mine, how can it be?
Saviour, king and all, he’s just a child
born in a stable is all, but everything to me.
My son, no, well, God’s son its just now he’s here;
the waiting, anticipation, i’ll miss it between you and me.
The long hard road to Bethlehem – call it something won’t you?
Remember the waiting, expectation
The stares on the road, daring to be different
facing unwelcome music of that first-morn.
But it’s not all unwelcome,
see, the shepherds came
somthing about angels in the sky,
odd lot, must mess with your head
being on that hill all the night.
What would you say, what would you see?
on that cold hard night from the hills to flee?
would you tell the world, let all be known
that the Christ has come.
The babe of all babes, on life for all life
who’s to believe such a story, such a beginning.
No matter, no loss, Christ has come to save the lost.
In straw, dirt and muck a long way from home on a noisy busy night in a simple town.
Christ has come, saviour of all who will you tell, how will you tell it, what will you do to mark it?
On that long hard road to Bethlehem?