Several 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?
Photo credit: optictopic (via flickr.com)