T’was the week before Christmas and all through the church
Was a hustle and bustle, just like back in March.
Decorations were hung by the rafters with care
In hopes that some visitors soon would be there.
The members were restless, all worried like so,
“Oh what of my shopping? Of threats of fresh snow?”
But I in my alb and then donning a stole,
Considered the gospel in part and in whole:
See, out in the field there arose such a clatter
To shepherds whom nobody thought would have mattered
“Arise, and fear not!” the angel did say,
“Get thee to the manger, I’ll show you the way.”
The night was still dark, the air was still cold
When Jesus was born, whom the prophets foretold.
When what should arrive at this point in the story,
But the heavenly host singing out to God’s glory!
The shepherds ran out to see Jesus, and quick;
But a king in a manger? This must be a trick.
Kings are for palaces, not homes with no roof!
But harken the prophet; he’ll show you the proof:
“Come blind ones, come deaf ones, come weakened and weary!
On lame ones, on mute ones, on tired and dreary!
Behold, He is coming—the Lamb of the Lord—
Who taketh away the sins of the whole world.”
In the fulness of time, and while we were still sinning
(back when the devil still thought he was winning),
Came Jesus, the only-begotten of God,
Of Mary, the Virgin, of old Jesse’s rod.
Then up on the mountain His sermons did start:
“Blessed are you, o ye broken of heart.
I came to fulfill, and not to destroy,
To rescue my people from Satan’s employ.”
He lived like a pauper with no place to bed,
So that you could have comfort and safety instead.
The sins of the world He did gather so black;
He looked like a thief with those stripes on His back.
His hands, from the nails, and His feet—how they bled!
And from the crown of thorns, so did His head.
He spoke, and what He said ever was true,
“Father forgive them. They know not what they do.”
He breathed out His last; death was coming with haste.
A spear to the heart, to confirm. (Just in case.)
They gathered His body and laid it to rot.
Death seems like the end… but with Jesus it’s not.
He rose from the grave on the third day again,
And promised the same for His people. Amen!
By grace and through faith you will find your salvation.
Now go and proclaim it to every last nation!
Let this be the lesson: Doubt not the Lord’s plans.
For Bethlehem Ephratha? Least of all clans!
His death and dark tomb is what sets you free.
His power is made perfect in weakness, you see?
Never was a least likely group than these guys,
Whom while watching their flocks the angel surprised.
So remember the shepherds, the star shining bright.
Merry Christmas. I’ll see you all Thursday night.