The Villager Voice ~ from Alan

With Christmas just a few days away, I thought I’d share with you this rather whimsical combination of two of our best-known Christmas traditions, one sacred, one secular.

The Very First Christmas

’Twas the very first Christmas (a long time ago)

in a land that was warm, and seldom saw snow.

The shepherds were watching their flocks with great care,

hoping no danger that night would be there.

The sheep were asleep, all snug in the grass,

and the shepherds sat, knowing not what was to pass.

As watchers were settling in for the night,

one guarding to make sure that all would stay right,

when up in the sky there arose such a star

whose light could be seen from countries afar!

They sprang from their beds to look at the sight,

all marveling that they’d never seen such light!

The glow on the crest of the hills far away

made the evening so bright that it looked much like day.

When what to their wondering eyes should appear

but an angel so lovely, with a smile so dear,

with a face so confident, the shepherds had clues

that this angel of God was bringing good news.

Then, louder than trumpets (the author here boasts),

the angel conducted the heavenly host:

“Now altos, now tenors,” the angel’s voice rang,

sopranos and basses joined in and they sang:

“Glory to God on account of this birth,

and peace shall be had by all those on earth.”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

when met with an obstacle mount to the sky,

so off to Bethlehem they all ran

to find what was come, bringing peace to the land.

Then, after a while, the manger they found,

with the help of the star whose light led to this ground.

They found it a place where the humble abide;

they tied up their donkeys and ventured inside.

There sat Joseph and Mary, amazed and beguiled,

and lying asleep, our Lord, the Christ child.

He was dressed all in swaddling, from his head to his foot,

and his crib appeared scruffy, with dust, dirt and soot.

He was lovely to look at, his person so small,

his smile – ah, his smile – gave comfort to all.

This was God’s son for sure, and while sleeping he lay,

the shepherds fell to their knees, and they prayed.

But the story’s not done, it goes on still today

of the baby Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

He lives on inside us; his spirit, his word,

with a faith that assures us we may call him our Lord.

Flushed with God’s promise, we gather today

and think on his life, which shows us the way.

Thus to you I exclaim, ’ere this poem does cease,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all of you, peace.”  

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