Twas the night before Christmas and in Beth'lem town,
All the inns were so crowded, Mary couldn't lie down.
The baby was coming, all willing and able!
And the only safe place to be born was a stable...
Some shepherds were sleeping on a hillside nearby,
While Mary was singing her first lullaby.
The lambs in their sheepfold, all wooly and white
Had just settled down on this clear, starry night.
When an angel appeared right there where they laid!
While they rose up in fright, he said, "Be not afraid."
The Lord's glory shone as the angel did say,
"Good news I bring to you all on this day.
A savior in Beth'lem is now born for you.
He lies in a manger; swaddling cloths are the clue."
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a sky filled with angels, singing loudly and clear!
God's glory they chanted, for all they were worth,
And peace among all whom God favors on earth!
More rapid than eagles they all disappeared,
A shepherd then shouted to all who would hear,
"Now Levi! Now Reuben! Now Isaac and Jacob!
On Eli! On Matthew! On Simon and Caleb!
To the stable in town, to the manger of hay,
Let's go quickly and see where the Christ child does stay!"
The shepherds could hardly believe what they saw:
Jesus lying in the manger asleep in the straw.
So, down to their knees all the shepherds then sank,
With their hearts full of wonder, their God they did thank.
And then in a twinkling to Joseph and Mary,
The words of the angels, the shepherds did carry.
As they drew in their breath, their heads spinning ‘round,
The shepherds departed with nary a sound.
Mary pondered these words in the depths of her heart;
She ne'er would forget how the shepherds took part.
A bundle of joy, Mary thought of her child.
And he looked like a pure lamb, so gentle and mild.
His eyes full of wisdom, even though just a baby.
"My Jesus, a Savior?" She wondered. "Well, maybe."
His soft little face seemed to glow with a smile,
So their troublesome journey now, too, seemed worthwhile.
Soon after came wise men from places afar.
Many days had they traveled to follow a star.
They looked for a king who would rule over all,
After speaking with Herod - the worst choice of all.
Herod plotted and planned - a right nasty old king -
He tried to kill Jesus, and end this whole thing!
The Magi came in and they kneeled at Christ's bed,
And gave him three gifts. And then, thinking ahead,
They took a new road on their long journey home.
And Jesus and family to Egypt did roam.
Much later, he laid down his life for our souls,
Forgiving our sins, Jesus Christ made us whole.
He rose from the dead, to his friends gave a mission.
And we are now given new life with a vision!
So let us exclaim on this most holy night,
"Merry Christmas to all! Jesus Christ is the light!"
By Penny Rahm, Wilkes-Barre, PA