Advent 2019 #16: Sorry kids, Frosty melted long ago…

Following on from yesterday’s theme of singing, I thought I’d spend the next seven days exploring some famous Christmas songs. To help me with my selection, I consulted Google and asked them what the top seven Christmas songs of all time were. Google gave me a website that listed the top forty (according to someone).

I wasn’t expecting every single song on that website to be about Jesus: not by a long shot. But when Jesus seemed well and truly not involved in the list and I was informed that the 5th greatest Christmas song of all time was Frosty the Snowman, I cracked a wobbly.

On second thoughts, I’ll pick my own seven unassisted.

Today – While you were sleeping

I know. You’re thinking Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman (or is it just me?), but it’s got nothing to do with a mid-nineties rom com. It’s written by an American – Mark Hall – but that’s about as closely as the two are linked. What it’s actually about is the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem one night (you never saw that coming, right?)

Oh little town of Bethlehem, looks like another silent night

Above your deep and dreamless sleep a giant star lights up the sky.

And while you’re lying in the dark there shines an everlasting light

For the King has left his throne and is sleeping in a manger tonight, tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping

For God became a man and stepped into your world

Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history

As a city with no room for it’s king

While you were sleeping, while you were sleeping…

It’s quite a subdued, slightly melancholy tune but strong. It doesn’t make a fuss, like the Saviour. Just steps in quietly at night, to be noticed and attended to only by those who care to take the time to realise who he is and respond.

I think my favourite line in the song comes in the second verse:

Born among the animals, wrapped in dirty rags

Because there was no room for Him in the world he came to save.

I mentioned earlier that the song was written by an American, which explains the lyrics in the final verse. However, you could just as easily sing “Australia” and you’d be singing the truth:

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping?

Will Jesus come again and leave us slumbering where we lay?

America, will we go down in history as a nation with no room for it’s King?

Will we be sleeping?

It might just be my opinion – and I don’t mind if it is – but I think those lyrics top Frosty the Snowman any day.

Yours in making room for the King,


Photo by Oleg Zaicev on

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