Summary: A Sermon for Christmas,in poetic verse, based on Luke’s Gospel
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2008 - Luke 2: 1-20
Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe and author of life on this planet we call earth, we gather in your presence this holy night to lift our hearts in praise and devotion to you for the birth of your Son, Jesus the Christ. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, grant us humble hearts, that we might come to see, cradled in this familiar story of Jesus’ birth, your gift of redeeming grace. Enable us to grow in faith, and to embrace others with the love you have shown us. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen.
Around Pine trees, rows of twinkling lights have been strung,
With tinsel garland, on those branches, neatly hung,
To serve as the shelter, for the gifts that have been placed,
‘Neeth those trees, tightly wrapped, with ribbon and bows laced.
For days the aroma in our homes smelled so sweet,
From kitchens abundant with cookies, cakes and treats,
All designed to bring, the joy of celebration,
As we recall our Lord’s, earthly incarnation.
And tonight we gather, amid dim candlelight,
To sing our beloved carols, to our hearts delight,
Midst many poinsettias, which beautifully enfold,
The scene of our Lord’s birth, for our eyes to behold.
E’en my sermon has been written, in words that rhyme,
That our worship might be, uplifting and sublime,
For ‘tis fitting that we celebrate, with great joy,
God’s presence with us, in this newborn baby boy.
But through our celebrations, there is the danger,
Of not grasping the truth, that led to the manger,
Being the cradle, in which the Christ child was laid,
And the selfless grace of God, that was there displayed.
For though we envision, the nativity scene,
With Mary and Joseph, looking calm and serene,
Great stress for our Lord’s parents, had to be endured,
Even though, of God’s blessings, they had been assured.
First, through faith, Joseph took Mary to be his bride,
Following the direction, that God did provide,
Assuring him that her child, which would soon be born,
Should not be a reason, for his betrothed to scorn.
Thus, this humble carpenter, worked hard to provide,
A small home, in which, his new family might reside,
In the small town of Nazareth, in Galilee,
While planning for parenthood, with expectant glee.
But when the birth of Mary’s child, seemed close at hand,
Joseph received word, of the Emperor’s demand,
That all who lived, under Roman occupation,
Must personally enroll, for new taxation.
Joseph also was told, that he had to return,
To the town of his birth, which increased his concern,
Since the decree insisted, he must take his wife,
Even though she was about, to bring forth new life.
Thus we might speculate, that with love and with care,
Joseph packed some belongings, for Mary’s welfare,
To help her cope with the journey’s, many ordeals,
Including food provisions, for several meals.
Although the trip required, that they must travel light,
Joseph packed some blankets, so see them through the night,
And with wine and water, he strapped all to the side,
Of a donkey procured, on which Mary could ride.
Onward and onward, all day long that donkey trod,
O’er winding rock road, and frozen pasture sod,
Up the ragged mountain, then on across the crest,
Down through the next valley, with little time to rest.
For from Nazareth, ‘twas a trip of several days,
To reach Bethlehem, through the Judean byways,
That were roughly cut, from the mountain’s hillside,
Affording few places, in which they could abide.
But as they neared the town, of their destination,
Joseph began to feel pangs, of consternation,
As furrows of pain, began to crease Mary’s face,
Leading Joseph to intently, pick up their pace.
Those rhythmical contractions, told him time was near,
For the birth of Mary’s child, increasing his fear,
That they would arrive at Bethlehem, much too late,
To enter the town, before the guards closed the gate.
Though they did arrive, before the end of daylight,
Joseph searched throughout the town, well into the night,
As from one inn to another, he quickly sped,
To acquire for Mary, a warm room with a bed.
Yet with deepest regrets, the innkeepers did say,
That their rooms had all been let, earlier that day,
Thus, causing Joseph, in humility to plead,
For shelter for Mary, in her obvious need.
But the people were too busy, seemed not to care,
As they scurried about, seeking their own welfare,
Till one finally recognized, this couple’s plight,
And suggested a place, where they might spend the night.
As an innkeeper, he dared not ask one to leave,