Behold the Star Songwriting Experiment

There’s a song that we sing at our church during Advent Season called “Behold the Star”. It’s an old spiritual that I found in the African American Heritage Hymnal. We play it with a nice Motown cha-cha groove instead of the more traditional swing.
I like the song, but it doesn’t have much to say about the incarnation other than to tell some details about the story. It also has this awkward 3rd verse that doesn’t rhyme even though the other verses do rhyme. Today, I thought, why don’t I write my own little verse to add to the song a little bit of God’s plan of redemption being brought to fruition.
Here’s the original text:

Chorus
Behold the star
Behold the star up yonder
Behold the star
It is the star of Bethlehem
1.There was no room found in the inn
It is the star of Bethlehem
For He who was born free from sin
It is the star of Bethlehem
2.The wise men came from the East
It is the star of Bethlehem
To worship Him the Prince of Peace
It is the star of Bethlehem
3.A song broke forth upon the night
It is the star of Bethlehem
Peace on Earth, goodwill to men
It is the star of Bethlehem

Here’s a couple of verses that I came up with:

It draws the nations to the Lamb
It is the star of Bethlehem
The King of kings; the great “I AM”
It is the star of Bethlehem
The Father’s plan is now revealed
It is the star of Bethlehem
through His Son we can be healed
It is the star of Bethlehem

These two verses are ok, but I’m not entirely satisfied. For one thing, they lack the vibe of a spiritual. They come off a little too Presbyterian if you know what I mean. Spirituals are characterized by a lot of biblical language, symbolism, and themes of trials and promised liberation. My verses have a little too much of a “systematic theology” thing going on.
Help me out. The 2 lines need to be eight syllables long, and they need to rhyme. Give me your ideas and maybe we’ll incorporate your verses into what we sing at church.

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  1. #1 by Heidi Vincent on November 19, 2008 - 9:32 am

    Sadly, I’m not familiar enough with spirituals or Presbyterianisms to help you much. However, I did want to say that like the second verse you wrote. “Revealed” and “healed” nice, and the message is spot on.
    If the continuity created by using “it” were not important, I think I would try to use a more personal pronoun in your first verse. Like, “He draws the nations to the Lamb,” but again that may break the flow.
    Thanks for inviting us into the process!

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