Devotions

Sharing the Light • Devotion #1: “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”

“Sweet Little Jesus Boy” was composed by lawyer Robert MacGimsey and published in 1934 by Carl Fischer Music. Although white, his intent in writing “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” was to portray it as an American slave song. Jeff Westover wrote an article “What You Do Not Know About Sweet Little Jesus Boy” in which he mentions that MacGimsey was saddened by the drunken parties by so many during the Christmas season. It was in total contrast to the simplicity of the spirituals that his nanny (Aunt Becky – an African American lady) sang to him as a child.

The first two of four verses say:

Sweet little Jesus boy

They made you be born in a manger

Sweet little holy child

We didn’t know who you were

Didn’t know you’d come to save us Lord

To take our sins away

Our eyes were blind, we could not see

We didn’t know who you were

Long time ago

You were born

Born in a manger Lord

Sweet little Jesus boy

The world treats you mean Lord

Treats me mean too

But that’s how things are down here

We don’t know who you are

Slavery is sickening. The idea of someone “owning” another person is disturbing. However, I love the stories of people who sing in spite of their circumstances.

Christmas is not an easy time for everyone. There can be financial hardships or emotional setbacks. It is a common time to experience deep pain as we reminisce about missing loved ones who have passed recently or years ago. It can be frustrating and painful, but one of the greatest remedies is singing praises to God. I am challenged and encouraged by the response of “prisoners” Paul and Silas to injustice in Acts 16:25, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” They praised God from prison (and He heard them).

“Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18

It is Christmas time. Place your focus, energy, celebration, and worship on the “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.”

“Sweet Little Jesus Boy” was composed by lawyer Robert MacGimsey and published in 1934 by Carl Fischer Music. Although white, his intent in writing “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” was to portray it as an American slave song. Jeff Westover wrote an article “What You Do Not Know About Sweet Little Jesus Boy” in which he mentions that MacGimsey was saddened by the drunken parties by so many during the Christmas season. It was in total contrast to the simplicity of the spirituals that his nanny (Aunt Becky – an African American lady) sang to him as a child.

The first two of four verses say:

Sweet little Jesus boy

They made you be born in a manger

Sweet little holy child

We didn’t know who you were

Didn’t know you’d come to save us Lord

To take our sins away

Our eyes were blind, we could not see

We didn’t know who you were

Long time ago

You were born

Born in a manger Lord

Sweet little Jesus boy

The world treats you mean Lord

Treats me mean too

But that’s how things are down here

We don’t know who you are

Slavery is sickening. The idea of someone “owning” another person is disturbing. However, I love the stories of people who sing in spite of their circumstances.

Christmas is not an easy time for everyone. There can be financial hardships or emotional setbacks. It is a common time to experience deep pain as we reminisce about missing loved ones who have passed recently or years ago. It can be frustrating and painful, but one of the greatest remedies is singing praises to God. I am challenged and encouraged by the response of “prisoners” Paul and Silas to injustice in Acts 16:25, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” They praised God from prison (and He heard them).

“Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18

It is Christmas time. Place your focus, energy, celebration, and worship on the “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.”



Office: 8393 E. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442 | 248.328.0490 | info@theriverchurch.cc

Copyright © 2016 The River Church. All Rights Reserved.