The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone. Do you remember an old Christmas spiritual called, Mary Had a Baby? Today, I think on this St. Helena Island Spiritual.
It has deep soul and sweet simplicity: Mary had a baby, yes, Lord,
Mary had a baby, yes my Lord,
Mary had a baby, yes Lord,
People keep a-comin’ an’ the train done gone.
There is natural melody, even if the true melody is unknown. But, I can’t stop thinking about the phrase, People keep a-comin’ an’ the train done gone.
There was a lot going on then. (Which doesn’t take away from thae fact that there is a lot going on now.)
This story isn’t only about the past, this story is about today, right now, this very moment. Mary had a baby, yes, Lord.
So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up . . . out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to . . . Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, Luke 2:4.
OK, now it makes sense: The people keep a comin, but what about the thought, the train done gone?
The kids sing it so simply: Mary had a baby. Yes, Lord. The familiar Bible Story, found in Luke 2 and Matthew 1.
What did she name Him? Yes Lord?
What did she name Him, yes my Lord,
What did she name Him, Yes, Lord, …
A virgin shall be with Child and they shall call His name, Immanuel. Matthew 1:23.
Immanuel, God with us. Mary had a Baby and He is God with us.
The people keep-a-coming, and the train done gone. Have we missed something. Have we missed the Everything?
The word of God is living. It’s alive. It rings true yesterday, today, and forever: At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. Luke 2:1.
We’re traveling here and there. Days are busy. We are occupied with important things. We are “counting” on many things.
Does this song bring about an urgency? Is there a “train” we might miss?
Do we really have time to seek out this Jesus?
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
‘Mary had a baby, Yes Lord…what did she name Him? Yes, my Lord… ‘She named Him King Jesus, Yes Lord, …the people keep a coming but the train done gone.”
Have we put Jesus in the barn?
Let us wake up to the sounds of angels. The birth announcement is made: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid, Luke 2:8.
And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
A Savior has been born to you.
To me, to you, to everyone in the whole world: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
The Immanuel has here.
He is Savior of the world. That Babe left all His glory of heaven to be born in a barn and wrapped in a few rags for me, for you. Today, the story is true.
‘Mary had a baby, Yes Lord. The glory train is here today. Let us choose to get on, right now, for Love has come.
Mary had a baby, Yes lord!
The people keep-a-coming and the train’s all mine. I see it, and I’ve boarded, will you join me this time?