How Far It Was To Bethlehem

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.

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.”

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.

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.