In Bethlehem, the House of Bread,
Jesus was born, the Church's Head.
Within the Church, the House of Bread,
Those born in Christ His flesh are fed.
The Babe wrapped up in swaddling clothes
Wraps up His Church, that she, enclosed
Within His flesh and blood may be
Clothed with divine humanity.
Archangels, angels, saints above,
Magnify Him who came in love,
To call the hungry to His Feast,
From north and south, from west and east.
The manger held the God of life,
Who came to swallow sin and strife.
Christ, let my tongue Thy manger be,
That I may swallow life in Thee.
His mother's flesh, which Christ assumed,
Is by His Virgin Bride consumed.
The Word made flesh makes her His own,
Joined flesh to flesh and bone to bone.
Born in the darkness of the night,
The Father's uncreated Light,
Illumines us with earthly wine,
Full of the glow of blood divine.
O God made man, make us in Thee
Partakers of divinity.
Feed us Thy flesh and blood, we cry;
Fill us with Thee, O God Most High.
Chad L. Bird
To be sung to the tune Bethlehem,
by Burnell F. Eckardt, Jr.
First published in the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany 2001 issue of Gottesdienst.