To shepherds as they watched by night
Appeared a host of angels bright;
"Behold the tender babe," they said,
"In yonder lowly manger laid,
"At Bethlehem, in David's town,
As Micah did of old make known.
It is the Christ, your Lord and King,
Who will to all salvation bring."
Oh, then rejoice that through his Son
God is with sinners now at one;
Made like yourselves of flesh and blood,
Your brother is the eternal God.
What harm can sin and death then do?
The true God now abides with you.
Let hell and Satan storm and rave,
Christ is your brother -- you are safe.
Not one he will or can forsake;
His cov'nant he will never break.
Let ev'ry scheme the tempter try,
You may his utmost pow'rs defy.
You shall and must at last prevail.
God's own you are; you cannot fail.
To God forever sing your praise
With joy and patience all your days.
Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546; tr. Richard Massie, 1800-87, alt. Tune: Latin melody, 15th century, adapt.