A Christmas Story

‘Twas the night before Christmas
     and all through the land.
People were traveling
     at Caesar’s command.
The roadways were busy,
     the towns they were packed.
But available lodging
     was something they lacked.

Some young weary travelers
     did look for a place.
Where they could rest for the night,
     and perhaps wash their face.
They went inn to inn,
     and perhaps door to door.
But there was no place,
     not even a floor!

Their search did continue
     for someplace to stay.
They were offered a stable,
     out back with the hay.
It sure wasn’t much
     but it’s all they could find.
So they made themselves comfy
     where the livestock had dined.

In the midst of the night,
     the traveler awoke.
With an urgent whisper
     and not so gentle poke.
The words were direct,
     perhaps tinged with some fear.
Now is the time,
     the child’s almost here!

And so it did happen,
     a child would be born.
As Mary and Joseph
     faced that Christmas morn.
Whenever it was,
     whatever the day.
The Christ-child was born
     and placed on the hay.

And out in the darkness
     on a hillside that night.
Some shepherds encountered
     a frightening sight.
An angel from heaven
     spoke out in the night.
To hear such a thing
     filled the shepherds with fright!

Do not be afraid,
     I bring news of great joy!
In the city of David
     has been born a boy!
The One that was promised
     so long ago.
He’s asleep in a manger,
     wrapped in cloths, so you know.

And while they were thinking,
     they must have said, “Oh, my!”
For the heavenly hosts
     did light up the sky.
Saying, “Glory to God
     and peace to all men.”
Now go find this child
     born in Bethlehem.

So the shepherds did hurry,
     there was no time to waste.
They were filled with such joy,
     that they ran with great haste.
They came to the stable
     with a manger as a bed.
And found all the details
     just like the angel had said.

They left that encounter
     and spread the good news.
Telling all who would hear,
     they had nothing to lose.
As they went their way,
     singing praises to God.
They didn’t care
     if people thought they were odd.

And all of the while,
     by the sweet baby’s side.
Mary did treasure
     and ponder inside.
All the joy and the wonder
     of what did occur.
And all that the shepherds
     had spoken to her.

So, this night before Christmas
     what have you planned?
Are you spreading good news
     throughout the land?
Are you so overwhelmed
     by the birth of this Boy?
That you’re praising God
     with the greatest of joy.

When we encounter
     the One born our King.
The question remains,
     just what gift will we bring?
There’s only one gift
     that He wants to see.
That gift is the life
     of you and of me.

©2015 by Tom Lemler

I was asked to read a poem at a Christmas Eve service so I planned on sharing something I had written a year ago.  I arrived a work early in the morning on Christmas Eve and the starlit sky drew me to the river to spend time with God in prayer and worship as I photographed the rising sun.  As I walked and prayed, this poem began to from in my mind.  I believed it was meant to be shared at the Christmas Eve service so I kept repeating it to myself so it wouldn’t leave my mind before I could get back to a computer to type it out.  I don’t know if this was the original version, but enough of it stayed in my mind so that I had a fresh poem to share tonight.  I pray that it encourages you and that it accomplishes all of the purposes for which God gave it.

In prayer,

A Visit From The King

‘Twas the eve before Christmas
     and all through the land.
All the people were doing
     just what they planned.
Their laundry was hung
     where everyone could see.
It all went online
     as they said, “Look at me!”. 

The children were somewhere,
     no one seemed to care.
As long as they managed
     to stay out of my hair.
The parents were busy,
     each in their own way.
As they try to make Christmas
     mean just what they say. 

Then deep in my heart
     I could hear a faint call.
Just a gentle whisper
     is what I recall.
I fell to my knees
     and opened the Book.
As I listened more closely
     and took a good look. 

And to my surprise,
     just what did I see?
God’s love came to earth
     as a tiny baby.
His love looked so small
     in this human form.
As He arrived in a barn,
    not even a dorm! 

The announcement was made
     far out on a hill.
By an angel of God
     on a night that was still.
God spoke to some shepherds
     who were out on that night.
And gave them good news
     in the midst of their fright. 

The angel was joined
    by a great heavenly host.
Who gave the message
    that they needed most.
All glory to God
     who reigns from above.
And peace to all men
     who rest in His love. 

The message was so great
     that I tagged along.
To see what was meant
     by this heavenly throng.
We went into town
     to a stable forlorn.
And found in this place,
     a child had been born. 

As we walked on in,
     I felt like a stranger.
Until I did see
     this baby in a manger.
The baby was wrapped
     from his toes to his head.
In swaddling cloths,
     like the angel had said. 

We knew at that moment
     that this was the King.
Who had come down to earth,
     salvation to bring.
As we left that stable
     and went on our way.
We told all who would listen,
     what took place that day. 

The town filled with wonder,
     the people were amazed.
At the things we did tell them
     as God’s name we praised.
That night was something
     that we never forgot.
As we went back to work
     and lived out our lot. 

I’m sure there was more,
     but I seemed to wake.
From a dream that was real,
     no way this was fake!
A King came to visit,
     I was there at the start.
Now He asks me to love Him
     with all of my heart. 

More than a baby
     did I meet that day.
It was the presence of God
     that showed up that way.
He grew as a child
     and lived as a teen.
He was pleasing to God
     and to all on the scene. 

As His time came near
     to complete God’s own plan.
He started to teach
     like no other man.
He spoke of a kingdom
     that He would reveal.
And the way to this kingdom,
     His own blood would seal. 

As I did listen,
     I thought of that day.
When I heard with the shepherds
     what the angel did say.
The babe in the manger
     was no ordinary birth.
It was God dwelling with us,
     a King come to earth!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

I was asked to share a poem at the Christmas Eve service at our church.  The hope was that I would write a new poem for the service.  I explained that I don’t really write poems I just collect them as God gives them to me in my prayer times.  The request then changed to asking that I pray about the Christmas Eve service and listen to God as they prayed that God would give me a poem. 🙂  Out of that prayer time (mine and theirs) God has given me two poems today and there are still two more days before the Christmas Eve service — God only knows if there is anything else to come!  I pray that it encourages you to consider Jesus as your king.

In prayer,