A Christmas Poem‏

8296444516_507bc24596_mSeveral years ago our daughter, Carolyn, and her husband, Doug, had to make a six-hour trip from Toronto to Syracuse, NY. It happened that she was responsible for the children’s Christmas program at their church that year and planning was upon her. So as they drove she and Doug, created and wrote down the following rhymed way of telling children the Christmas story. Here it is, unedited from that journey.

‘Twas a Year Before Christmas

By Douglas and Carolyn Gonyou
‘Twas a year before Christmas and God sent Gabriel down
To a virgin named Mary in Nazareth town.
“God is sending His son to accomplish His plan.
God chose you to bear him and raise him to a man.”
In a dream God told Joseph what his part would be
So Joseph prepared for a family of three.
Then Caesar Augustus called everyone round
To travel back home to their ancestral town.
Joseph and Mary, who was expecting the child,
Walked day after day through the countryside wild.
For Bethlehem was where they had to go
But in Mary’s condition their pace was slow.

‘Twas the night before Christmas in Bethlehem town
And the inns filled up quickly as travelers came ’round.
Mary was weary and Joseph was worn.
They knew that the baby was soon to be born.
A baby was due and tonight was the night.
There was no place to rent, no rooms were in sight.
So they went to a stable and set up their camp
While the creatures looked on by the light of a lamp.
The baby was born, not a regular one:
God’s gift to the world, Jesus, His only son.

In the first hours of Christmas ’round a fire burning low
Sat shepherds who watched as their flocks slept below.
Then the sky turned to day from a light from a star
And the singing of angels could be heard from afar.
The shepherds fell down in fear of the light.
Then one angel stood out — what a glorious sight!
“Have no fear” he proclaimed “I bring news of great joy,
For in the town down below is born to you a boy.
God sent His son to redeem fallen man.
Now run, find, and worship as fast as you can!”

‘Twas a year after Christmas. To the town quiet and still
Three kings on three camels rode over the hill.
They had followed the star they had seen in the sky.
They had ridden for months and now could see why.
They found Mary and Joseph with their child not yet grown
And to God’s Christmas gift they gave gifts of their own.
They gave gold for a king, frankincense for a priest
Myrrh for a burial, precious gifts from the East.
They bowed to the child who was more than a king:
He had come to the earth God’s forgiveness to bring.

Two thousand years later, it comes down to you.
The question to answer is, What will you do?
God has given His gift, His son in our place.
Paid the sin debt for the whole human race.
Will you call him Lord, let him into your heart?
Will you follow His leading? Will you do your part?
In a world full of hate and a world full of fear,
Will you share His message with those far and near?

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Photo credit: optictopic (via flickr.com)


3 thoughts on “A Christmas Poem‏

  1. I very much enjoyed reading this Christmas poem, composed by Caroline and Doug , on their family road trip from Toronto to Syracuse. It covers the whole Christmas story from Annunciation to Epiphany and looks to the saving sacrifice to come and beyond that to the spread of the Gospel message far and wide.

    Everything is related – the annunciation in dream to Joseph as well as by Gabriel to Mary: the census: the stable birth :the shepherds beneath the singing angels: and the travelling magi with their significant gifts.

    I like the way the poem clearly represents the proper time scale.Too often the visit of the shepherds and the magi are conflated into occurring at the same time.Of course the artistic shorthand of nativity scenes which show shepherds and kings together by the crib,can be misleading, if taken as a literal representation.

    In my own home nativity, I place Jesus then the shepherds on Christmas Eve.Then the magi,though not a year later,at least 12 days later on Epiphany,January 6th. Sometimes I place the magi around the room, closer and closer to the nativity,through the 12 days of Christmas,til they arrive on the 6th.To remind me of their star following journey.

    The poem explains the reason behind these nativity events and asks the children ,to be a part of them They are told ‘it comes down to you’.The question is aked gently ‘what will you do’ in this broken world of fear and hate .

    What a wonderful nativity poem for children at Christmas,at their Sunday School,church or hearthside.

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