the biggest, most divine total blunder (’twas the night before Christmas)

24 12 2009

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear…

But stories of angels telling virgins not to fear?

I saw visions of angels shining in all their glory
As they told the shepherds their role in the bizarre story
I saw wise men and babies and cattle and sheep
And I wondered if maybe I was still asleep.

Angels and shepherds and babies in hay
It sounds less like reality more like a school play
And what can it mean for me right here and right now
That a baby was laid on the dinner plate of a cow?

You see, On the night before Christmas there was no baby yet
Just tossing and turning and probably regret
“If only we had stayed somewhere better than this,
I hadn’t fallen for Mary and sought marital bliss”

I saw the scene not from idyllic Christmas cards
That make a night out in a stable seem like Mardi Gras
But I saw feelings of fear and anticipation
As Mary and Joseph contemplated not the future of their nation

But their predicament, their fragility, their ridiculous plight
How to give birth in such a dirty place on this night
Pardon the pun but it’s the most pregnant of pauses
This time for waiting, holding, that nature enforces

Frustrating, painful, it must have been that last night
Before Mary was mother and Jesus the light
After visits from angels have promised them wonder
Has it really been the biggest, most divine total blunder?

Not long before shepherds will be woken from slumber
Not long before wise men will travel from yonder
Not long before Herod will notice Bethlehem
Not long before he will massacre to try and destroy them

Such a gift, such a treasure, such an unusual ploy
For God to deem it fit that he should be born a boy
With the risk of illness, mess and a wee sprinkling
The question is really “God what were you thinking?”

On the night before Christmas did you have second thoughts
About this plan for salvation with such danger fraught
On the night before Christmas did you wonder again
About entrusting your Son to fickle women and men?

Did you think that maybe there was a better way to do it?
Did you consider someone stronger than a baby to go through it?
Did you know that we would wish you had done it all yourself,
Instead of trusting us with the world’s spiritual health?

On this night before Christmas maybe there’s a bitter flavour
The earth groans with the birth pangs of painful labour
There’s suffering and troubles there’s little peace on earth
Nothing much changed by such an insignificant birth?

Or… if closely we look through the open sash window
And see truth glinting on the fresh snowfall below
Can we look and see the Christmas story sparkle
Like the embers of a fire than suddenly glow and crackle

It’s not empty stories from imaginations gone wild
It’s not fat men with beards and reindeers that fly
It’s not myth invented to tell stories at bedtime
But it’s the truth of when God threw mankind a life-line

When God re-created as when he created the world
When God’s banner of love was so truly unfurled
Life was created and death was defeated
Evil was told “get back, and be seated!”

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that Truth soon would be there

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all this I saw
And I realised, I recognised what I had not seen before
And I hope that you see him, that you truly see Jesus
On this precious, this holy night before Christmas.

© Kevin Lewis 2009

I know it has been re-written many times, but it is Christmas when we tell the same things again and again! I hope you like it and it helps you think, as it has me. It’s not meant to be brilliant poetry, but who knows, maybe it is. I somehow doubt it…!

May I take this opportunity to thank you for reading this blog since I started it in August, and helping me to think, reflect, practice ideas and grow. I have found it truly valuable, so I know it at least helps me! Thanks to those who have commented – your thoughts are always welcome, as I hope to start discussions, not end them…

May God bless you richly in 2010, and a very happy Christmas to you all!





One response

24 12 2009
Pete Parker

and thanks to you for your blog. Like bshop Nick’s, it takes my mind to new and interesting places and makes me look at things in a different way. God bless you nd Fran and Merry Christmas.

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