‘Twas the First Christmas Evening: A Retelling

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“‘Twas the first Christmas evening, when all through the town
every inn was filled up, and no room could be found.”

I’ve always enjoyed the Christmas classic, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” by Clement Clark Moore, and decided to tell the story of Jesus’ birth in the same style.

Why? Well, nerd that I am, I actually enjoyed the experience. Also, I wanted to continue 7 Days of Focus on Jesus with another piece of Christmas that we can all recognize and relate to. (See the post from Day 1 here:  Why Jesus Went Christmas Shopping.)

There is no substitute for the living and life-changing word of God. I love reading the Christmas Story from Isaiah 9, Luke 1-2, and  Matthew 2, and would hate to see anyone let the season pass without delving into those beautiful passages of scripture.

Having said all of that, here is the story of the first Christmas in the form of a poem:

‘Twas the First Christmas Evening

‘Twas the first Christmas evening, when all through the town
every inn was filled up, and no room could be found.
The people had gathered from distant and near,
instructed by Caesar to register here.

So Joseph and Mary, his young wife to be,
to Bethlehem journeyed from far Galilee.
To the City of David, the kin of the same,
a carpenter, girl, and unborn baby came.

No innkeeper offered the family a bed,
so the infant was born in a stable instead.
While Mary settled the child in a manger,
donkeys and cattle watched over the Stranger.

As the mother looked down at the tiny boy’s face,
her thoughts turned away to a past time and place.
She remembered the angel whose message foretold
that His name would be Jesus, forever extolled.

While shepherds were watching their flocks through the night,
an angel from heaven split darkness with light.
The shepherds were terrified, frozen in fear,
but the angel appeased them with news of great cheer:

“Don’t worry! Good tidings!
Good news for all nations!
The Savior! He’s made it!
The babe brings salvation!
To the City of David!
To the manger’s stall!”
“Go! Tell it! Yes, tell it!
Go tell it to all!”

The angel was joined by a great host, and then
They sang, “Glory to God, and goodwill toward men!”

Rushing to find Him, the men did not tarry.
A babe wrapped in cloth, they found Jesus with Mary.
She pondered these things–to her heart they were dear,
as the shepherds praised God, for all people to hear.

Then the magi came west, bearing gifts for a King.
They had traveled so far, costly presents to bring.
Herod heard news of their trip and its reason;
He pretended to be on their side, for a season.

But the star–how it twinkled! With wonder and light,
It guided the wise men, to Jesus aright.
They brought gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and of gold,
the cost of these treasures a story untold.
The kings from the east soon fell down at the feet
of the child they had followed the bright star to meet.
Then warned in a dream, wicked Herod found out,
the magi went home by an alternate route.

The first Christmas ends here, but the story does not,
for an angel warned Joseph of Herod’s ill plot.
The child would grow up to be Savior, you know.
It was told by the prophet so long, long ago.

Remember the words from Isaiah of old?
This blessed occasion of joy he foretold:
“The people in darkness have seen a great light.
Once under a shadow, now all things are bright.”

“His name is Wonderful, Counselor, Strong indeed!
Everlasting! Mighty Father! High Prince of Peace!
A Kingdom without end, and never to be torn!”

“Unto us a child given, the Father’s Son born!”

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