The communication staff of the Presbyterian Mission Agency was thinking of a special way to say thank you to our loyal readers and contributors during Christmas. One of the first suggestions was a song. Not only a song, but a song performed by someone employed at the Presbyterian Center.

Although there are many talented musicians on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) staff, we enlisted the talents of Shannon Beck, PC(USA) Mission Agency Violence and Reconciliation Catalyst, to sing a song of her choosing.

An accomplished recording artist, Beck chose “In the Bleak Midwinter,” a carol based on the poem of the same name written by English poet Christina Rossetti. First published posthumously in 1904, it was set to music in 1906 and arranged to the tune with which we are familiar in 1911.

May your Christmas Eve be filled with the expectation of, and hope in, the coming of the incarnate Christ as this song conveys.

In The Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air -
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him -
Give my heart.