Summary: A devotion for our communion time at the Candle light service.

(This devotion was given in preparation for the communion service at our Candle-light worship. I sat in front of a crude manger holding my guitar and alternately speaking and singing verses from the song).

Christmas Eve 1932, Robert McGimsey attended midnight church service in New York City and then headed back to his one-room apartment. As he walked the final blocks, he passed the open doors of private clubs where people - shouting and singing and swearing. Others were so drunk they passed out on the sidewalk. He thought to himself: "What a strange way to celebrate the birth of the most perfect Person who ever lived on this earth. We seem to have missed the whole significance of His life."

That night McGimsey wrote his thoughts on back of an envelope that became the basis for this famous song:

(SING – guitar chords in parenthesis)

“(C) Sweet little Jesus boy (G) born in a (C) manger

Sweet little holy child we (G) didn't know who you (C) was

(G) Didn't know you'd come to (Am) save us Lord… to (G) take our sins (F) away

Our (Am) eyes were (Em) blind, we (F) could not see - we didn't know (G) who you (C) was”

(Speaking) In the first chapter of the gospel of John we read this words: “The true light which gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him.”

Later, when Jesus was talking to His disciples He said this: “If the world hates you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”


“(C) Long time ago (G) You were (C) born

Born in a manger Lord (G) sweet little Jesus (C) boy

(G) The world treats you (Am) mean Lord - (F) treats me mean too

But (Am) that's how (Em) things are (F) done down here, we (C) didn’t know (G) who you (C) was”

(Speaking) The early church dedicated itself to taking of communion every Sunday. Acts 20:7 tells us that “On the first day of the week, when (they) were gathered together to break bread.” That was the main focus of their Sunday worship. We’re not commanded to take the Lord’s Supper only on Sundays, but that was what the early church dedicated themselves to do. The reason we’re taking of communion tonight, is because tomorrow is Christmas – the day Christians have celebrated to rejoice in the birth of their Christ. And we don’t want our attention to be misplaced. Without His birth, Jesus could not have lived and taught and suffered and died and been risen from the dead. But we must be careful that we don’t misplace our focus. If Jesus had only been born in Bethlehem and not suffered, died and risen from the grave – Christmas would be an empty and hopeless festivity. THIS (communion) is what we do to focus on the most important part of our faith.

“(C) You done told us how, (G) and we is a (C) tryin'!

Master, you done show'd us how, (G) even when you was (C) dyin'.

(G) Just seem like we (Am) can't do right, (F) look how we treated you.

But (Am) please, (Em) sir, (F) forgive us, Lord — we (C) didn't know (G) who you (C) was.”

In 1 Corinthians 11:26 we’re told “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”


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