Merry Christmas. It is that famous eve before the celebration that honors the birth of the Light of the world.
Today I thought we’d have a little fun and combine a more secular Christmas tale with some of the journalistic accounts of Jesus’ birth. In doing so, on this edition of “Becoming Today”, let’s see what can come by combining parts of Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” and the accounts relayed in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
‘Tis the eve before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Legos and Play Doh are dancing in their heads;
And papa snoring loudly as mama says more gifts to wrap!
At least he’s settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Pulled up the blinds and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But three long haired, bearded men and a cranky camel.
And while the signs read “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”,
They tucked their hair up under their hats
And went on to ask , ‘where is this new born King?’
They whistled, and shouted, and called out;
“Now, Matthew, Luke! Mark and John!
On, Herod! on Joseph! on, Isaiah and Elijah!
Knock on all the doors! to the top of the wall!
Now where? Why? Is this One stashed away from all!”
Bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
When they meet with an obstacle, eyes turn to the sky,
Far above the house-top the star had their eye,
With visions of revelation, and a miracle too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard ‘over there’!
The prancing and pawing of many a little hoof.
As I looked down the street there were many a cloven feet,
and the animals were in the street.
For away in a manger
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the hearts of the witnesses were as pure as snow;
For His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph.
But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin,
she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man still it took the appearance of an angel for him to understand.
Meanwhile across town…That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said.
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
So if on this night, you awake to such a clatter,
Realize what we witness may truly be a miraculous matter.
And as you rise, join together in the rite,
Wishing all a Happy Christmas and to all a good night!
May a smile find you all this blessed weekend. I pray you have a happy and safe time and then we’ll talk again, come Monday on our next edition of “Becoming Today”.