‘Twas The Nite Before Christmas
‘Twas the nite before Christmas and all thru the church…
Rang the age-old question, “Should we celebrate Christ’s birth?”
“To decorate or not decorate…” the familiar refrain.
Do we share the tradition or should we restrain?
‘Tis true that His birth date to us is unclear.
And December’s for sure the wrong time of year.
Is Christmas pagan? Does it sound an alarm?
If I participate do I really cause harm?
Does God define “Christian,” something like this,
A baptized believer who doesn’t give gifts?
When Jeremiah spoke against the decorated, cut tree,
He had in mind the sin of idolatry (Jeremiah 10:2ff).
I have only bowed down near our Christmas tree
To pick up a present addressed to me.
Peter called Christians “peculiar” in the KJV.
Well, rejecting Christmas, is surely odd, seems to me!
But what Peter actually was talking about,
Is that Christians belong to God no doubt.
Yes the word “Christmas” comes, in part, from the term “mass.”
But words can’t be limited to their meaning in the past.
Did you know that to us the words “Wednesday” and “Thursday,”
From the ancient gods, Woden and Thor, found their way.
Many words derive from roots of old,
Which no longer the true meanings hold.
This is my point that really is true…
What is the meaning of Christmas to you?
The angels sang praises and announced our Lord’s birth.
The shepherds and wise men acknowledged His worth.
No…the Bible doesn’t give orders about Christmas.
But should we ignore what angels, shepherds and wise men teach us?
Our Lord healed ten lepers and required nothing more.
But when one returned praises, His spirit did soar.
Are we so locked in that there’s no place any more
For impulsive, out-breaking praise of our Lord?
Yes, we honor His life, death and resurrection.
But none of these come without the Bethlehem connection.
And yes, I can honor His birth every day of the year,
Does that mean I can’t hold December 25th dear?
If many of my friends think of Jesus this season,
Must I be compelled to find fault with their reason?
Could I not find some common ground with them here at year’s end
That might, please God, help them find their place with Him?
I have searched and find no compelling reason
To isolate myself from others this joyous season.
So, I exclaim, because I think it right,
Merry Christmas to all…and to all a good night!