Twas the week before Christmas,

when all through the Church,

Every person was stirring, the children the worst.

Memorial flowers placed by the altar with care,

In hopes that the grieving can find comfort there.

The candles of Advent burning boldly and bright,

Reminds us to prepare for the Lord’s birthing night.

The first hymn is sung, most voices on key,

As the choir processes, all stand reverently.

Then the stories are read of long, long ago,

Stories of God’s love all children should know:

Of Mary and Joseph and journeys to take,

Of Angels and Magi, God’s gift for our sake.

In cousin’s Elizabeth’s most tender care,

Mary in Nazareth, our story starts there.

A voice kindly greets her, a stranger she sees,

She’s frightened and troubled and starts to flee.

But the angel calms her and tells her the news,

“You’re in God’s favor, and He blesses you.

“You’ll carry within you a child by and by,

Name him Jesus, Son of the Most High.”

Come Wonderful Counselor, come Mighty God,

Come Everlasting Father, we give you our laude.

Now Prince of Peace, we await you, Most Bless’ed,

From you comes forgiveness for all our transgressions.

Then as required by Caesar’s census degree,

To Jerusalem go Joseph and Virgin Mary,

With donkey at hand, and arriving by night

No rooms were found, try as they might.

So into a stable they settle at last,

And Mary delivers in that sweet smelling grass.

She wraps the new babe in his swaddling clothes,

And lays him in the manger, as all children know

And a bright light appears in the dark evening sky

Startling the shepherds who are guarding nearby.

And an army of angels brings news of great joy,

The Savior is born, in the form of a boy.

And King Herod who hears this is troubled indeed,

A Savior to challenge him is the last thing he needs,

So he sends for the Magi, who have come from afar.

They traveled this way when they first saw the star.

“Go and find me this babe, and tell me the way,

So I may go worship, this child king, one day.”

Find Jesus they did, and awed by the sight,

Left gifts before leaving, under cover of night.

The story has wrapped up, the service soon ends.

And back to our harried lives we go once again,

But will we forget this our story of joy,

While battling long lines in search of new toys?

Or will we carry with us the memory of how,

God knowing then what we only know now,

Still gave us his Son, from whose wounds we are healed,

And by whose love in baptism, we are now sealed?

We cannot undo the harm we have done:

Rejecting, condemning God’s only son.

But we can live on, in peace and good will,

For despite what we’ve done, He’s with us still.

So go forth in shopping, go party, Rejoice!

But never forget to hear His soft voice,

“I’ll love you, I’ll guide you, come good or come strife.”

Happy Christmas to all, to all a good life.