Words For When

life happens

Song: Snow Falling Down on Bethlehem


Hearing of snow in the Middle East last winter got me imagining snow on the traditional Christmas narrative. Somehow, that made me feel more connected to the story, thinking there could have been snow falling on Bethlehem all those years ago. This is the song that came from those wonderings about connections between then and now. Again, I’m accompanied by Daryl Snider on guitar and harmonies, and the lovely folks in my congregation sang along on the chorus.

Snow Falling Down on Bethlehem
written in December, 2013


snow falling down on brown skin
snow falling down on Bethlehem
snow falling down on a traveling family
snow falling down on Bethlehem

the snow white sheep grazing the hills
lift their soft brown eyes to see
the clip clip clop of a donkey bearing
a girl holding the world, a girl holding the world
a little one, still hidden one
who would take their jobs one day*


in a far-off palace, rages a king
for he cannot put out a star
and the word had come from the wise in the world
of a brand-new power and light, a brand-new power and light
a little one, still hidden one
would he take his job one day?


this very day there are holy families
walking down the road
la Posada, they ask to stay
but we turn them, turn them away . . . we turn them, turn them away
their little ones, still hidden ones
will they take our jobs one day?


the story goes as the story went
as then, so it is today
but Christ was born, Christ is born
Christ was born, anyway . . . Christ is born, anyway
the little one, the hidden one
who came on Christmas day
in little ways, in hidden ways
still comes to us every day


*In reading up on whether snow ever falls in Bethlehem (yes, apparently!), I also read that in winter, most flocks of sheep are not grazing near Bethlehem—the only sheep who would have been in those fields would have been the sheep kept nearby to be temple sacrifices.


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