CHICAGO, IL (December 25, 2009) – The following adaptation of a familiar Christmas poem was shared by Steve and Marti Burger during a recent chapel service at Evangelical Covenant Church offices. It is set to the cadence of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
The Night of First Christmas
‘Twas the night of first Christmas, when all through the land
People were travelling ‘cross rocks, hills and sand;
A man and young woman walked in through a gate
To Bethlehem city, for now it was late.
Joseph and Mary had traveled so far,
And above them burned brightly the large Christmas Star;
Crowds they were scurrying this way and that,
Looking for shelter to lay down their mats.
Poor Mary was tired, about to give birth,
So the inn is where Joseph was headed to first;
Jostled, bumped into as they went to the door,
Mary was hurting, exhausted and sore.
“No room,” said the innkeeper, then noticed their plight,
“You may sleep with the animals, but just for this night;”
Outside the city, the shepherds watched sheep,
As they slept on the hillside, fast asleep.
Swirling through sheep-laden hills rushed night breeze,
As shepherds, save watchmen, quenched fires, took their ease;
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
Dazzling light come from heaven and an angel draw near.
Shepherds filled with confusion and fear at the sight,
Could not hide in the shadows, because of the light;
Fear not said the angel, for good news do I bring,
Of a glorious Savior and newly born king.
He lies in a manger, in Bethlehem town,
In the hay among animals is where he is found;
A great company of angels appeared in the sky,
Singing glory from heaven to the Savior most high.
Peace on earth was the chorus the angels did sing,
To God be the Glory through the heavens did ring;
More rapid than eagles the angels had come,
And then in a twinkling, their singing was done.
“Let’s go,” said the shepherds, “for the night gets too old,
See this thing that has happened of which we were told;”
So they hurried to Bethlehem seeking the Lord,
In a manger they found him, through darkness light poured.
Pure love, grace, forgiveness, in skin now was birthed,
God’s promise fulfilled in coming to earth;
He was wrapped up in cloth from his head to his toes
And all they could see were his eyes and his nose.
The shepherd then said, “Angels guided us here
To worship the Savior, so please do not fear;”
Having praised their new king, shepherds bowed, did depart,
And Mary she treasured their words in her heart.
‘Twas the night of first Christmas and the shepherds all ran,
To tell of the Savior throughout all the land;
There was Mary and Joseph, and animals too,
More than baby was Jesus, he is Savior for you!