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Archive for the ‘christmas poems’ Category

At the right city, In the right time,

By the right mother, From the right line,

To the right nation, In the right tribe;

Christ came to earth humanity to imbibe.   

– eab, Jan. ‘81  [Gal 4.4]

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The shepherds have returned

To wooly flocks on the hill

The inn keeper now wishes

He could his small inn fill

Mary, post-delivery

Is not longer pregnant, ill.

The world’s most famous morning now is past.

 

The wise men have returned

To their studies in the East

Herod has completed his

Contemplated blood “feast”

Joseph, Family in Egypt

Are “visitors” at least.

Jesus is a growing “toddler” at last. 

 

And you, friend, have returned

To living glad, or forlorn

Returned to shops and streets

Filled with scurry and loud horn

Remember, remember

Christ for you was gladly born.

Hold to His redeeming love, hold it fast!

– eab, 1/5/08

 

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WORDS (24th card)

I’m sure it has already come to light,

That what you now hold in your hand,

Started out as a very plain post card,

(On which some fellow acted like a “bard”)

Card-stock from trees grown in our land.

 

But its not just a plain card now, right? Right!

CHRISTMAS LOVE & GREETINGS it shares.

And though it cannot replace a handshake,

(Nor the of “Alexander Graham” take,)

Communication it still dares!

 

Words come from this card, clad in “black and light.”

Words which hurry along cold miles

To say, “Oh, we remember those good years”

(Who could forget Blessings, Hard Work, and Tears?)

Words say, “We’d love to see YOUR smiles.”

 

Christ also, on that far Judean night,

Appeared as a “plain” Jewish Child

He seemed to be made of regular stock;

(Till He gave, at twelve, the doctors a shock.)

He was the Father’s, meek, mild.

 

God expressed His Word – expressed it so right.

The Divine Logos showed His love.

The Word, His Word, was wonderful we know,

(Far exceeding what this small card can show.)

Because His Word was from above.

 

With thoughts, terms, phrases a writer must fight;

The Lord with majestic insight

Has His syntax air-tight.

(God’s words delight!)

Outright.

– eab, Dec. ‘89

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ON THIS DATE

John Byrom on 12/25/1745 presented this carol to his daughter.  Byrom attended Cambridge (graduated MA) & became a Fellow of Trinity College.  He declining to take Holy Orders & married Elizabeth Byrom (a cousin).  He earned a living teaching shorthand (invented his own system).  In 1723, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.  Byrom was born 2/29/1691 & died 9/26/1763 – both at Manchester, England. 

He wrote several hymns but wrote this one for Dolly.

Christians, awake, salute the happy morn Whereon the Savior of the world was born. Rise to adore the mystery of love Which hosts of angels chanted from above, With them the joyful tidings first begun Of God incarnate and the virgin’s son.

(5 more stanzas follow see http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/c/a/s/casthamo.htm for music)

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HE WAS OUTSIDE (23rd card)

He was born outside the warmth of

His heavenly home.

He was born outside the INN doors,

Born where cattle roam.

 

He was born outside the house in Nazareth,

Where He’d later play.

He was born outside, outside it all,

On that Special Day.

 

He was run outside of Judah’s boundaries

When a child.

He was found outside the clan circle;

Giving answers mild.

 

He fed them outside, five thousand plus;

After He preached the Word.

He was oft outside, outside,

Till the poorest sinner heard.

 

He was lead outside

Old Jerusalem to be killed.

He was left outside the city walls;

Because it was willed.

 

He thus died outside, for all our sins;

He had none of His own.

He died SO outside, outside,

The human race He had sown.

 

He is now inside, inside my life

And there to stay.

He is now inside, our glad heart door –

Christmas every day.

 

He is now inside, of every saint,

In all the world around.

He’s forever inside,

BECAUSE outside He then was found!

– eab, Dec. ’88

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EVERGREEN

Its symmetrical shape points toward the sky

Like no other.

And that could be one reason why,

We would rather,

Use it for our Christmas-time tree.

It points toward God, you see.

 

Its needles are always the same color

The year ’round.

Not affected by the changing weather.

It might be found,

That this would be good for you and me,

To be as changeless, as we could be.

 

It looks in March as it did in June.

Little age shows.

And its essence won’t be changing soon,

If no foes.

It’s an example to be seen free,

That gives us a glimpse of Eternity.  

– eab, Dec. ’65

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ON THIS DATE

James Montgomery published 12/24/1816, his now famous “Angels From the Realms of Glory.”  It was printed in the Sheffield Iris, the newspaper he edited for 31 years.  He was born to John Montgomery, a Moravian minister at Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland 11/4/1771. His parents died (when James was young) as missionaries to West Indies & he was a strong supported of missions. Twice while editing his paper he was imprisoned; once reprinting a song in commemoration of the fall of the Bastille & the second time for giving an account of a riot in Sheffield.  He died 4/30/1854.

 Verses omitted from many hymnals:

5. Sinners, wrung with true repentance, Doomed for guilt to endless pains, Justice now revokes the sentence, Mercy calls you; break your chains.

Refrain: Come and worship, come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn king.

6. Though an Infant now we view Him, He shall fill His Father’s throne, Gather all the nations to Him; Every knee shall then bow down:

7. All creation, join in praising God, the Father, Spirit, Son, Evermore your voices raising To th’eternal Three in One.

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A CHRISTMAS CARD? (22nd card) [1]

I really have no l-o-n-g standing need,

To sit and sit and read, read and read

About the facts of “southern living,”

     (Laura is now a baby sitter!)

I like the plain Christmas Card giving.

Spare me from the mammoth form letter.

 

Plain Christmas Cards have been no doubt proved,

     (You did change pastorates? What you moved?

     I thought you liked Loogootee people.

     Didn’t Don and Mary treat you right?

     God lead you? Sounds a little feeble.

     Maybe Bedford or Sankey’s “bite”?)

 

I was saying, Uh, we keep our cards.

– Letters don’t rhyme like jingles by “bards” –

Our pretty ones we have on display,

     (I heard you resigned – that’s not the word,

     As head of W E A A.

     Felt lost? Unless that’s what you preferred.)

 

It’s OK if one must write on card,

     (Oh! You found leaving them all quite hard!

     Well, we DO understand, don’t you fret.

     – But let me get this next very straight.

      [Cause I thought it was concrete set]

     You’re working on a Master’s of late ? ? ?)

 

You do-o-o agree with me, do you not.

Cards say it all – that’s why they are bought.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, no words contrary.

     (Jackson’s a long way to drive, I’d say.

     Wesley Biblical Seminary!

     Interstates! You don’t go every day!)

 

You will pardon please my views about

Holiday Cards and how they’re sent out.

Can’t stand letters with head line stories –

SON IS MARRIED TO A GREAT MAN’S GIRL

     (Andrew got hitched? Tell me the “Gories”!!

     Love to have been there, caught in the whirl.)

 

And another thing I don’t care for

Is the computerized letter, nor

Its matching label on the outside.

     (Poncha what? Pon-cha-tou-la, What names!

     So that’s were you pastor and abide,

     You and all three the fair Bryan dames?)

 

I hope I’ve set out, clear as a bell;

Send a plain card, buy just what they sell.

     (And Lincoln’s in Florida – dating?

     Heather is doing paces at home?

     And Laura is working and waiting,

     Next year she off to college will roam?)

 

Cards yes. Letters are so dull and long.

     (So you’re getting along like a song.

     A great pounding a few weeks ago?

     Glad you like people, parsonage, and all.

     God’s entire family is nice to know.

     You’ve had a fine move, summer, and fall!)

 

Well, I’ve said enough about my peeves.

And pardon my long parentheses.

     (May you have a Great Remembrance

     Of HIS coming as a Baby King.)

And if YOU send a letter by chance.

Don’t ask; You’ll know I read the whole thing!! 

– eab, Dec. ‘87

[1] Written my first year at Wesley Biblical Seminary. If it seems too light, it was probably a release valve after all that study.

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SEASONS TOGETHER (21st card)

Twenty-five firecracker chimes

Revolutionary birthday times

And twenty-five Augusts, nightly growing corn’s tower

Twenty-five September morns

Red schoolhouse bells and yellow bus horns

And kids of all ages held in learning’s strong power.

 

Twenty-five wonderful falls

Chirping squirrels, rustling leaves, wild geese calls

And twenty-five feasts of black pilgrim hat and feather

Martha and I have enjoyed

First alone and then gratefully toyed

Twenty-five celebrations of His birth together.

 

Twenty-five blue and white ways

Frost/snow filled, first-month, icicled days

Twenty-five months to remember Abraham and George

Twenty-five advents of spring

Mud on the ground and robin on wing

An’ lambs all respecting wind that came as from a forge

 

Ah twenty-five daffodils

April arrives with Easter frills

And twenty-five Mays with cricket and frog all attune

Then comes the long awaited

The one for which our breath was baited

That hot last long nineteen and sixty-one night in June

 

Twenty-five full great love years

A lot of happiness, a few tears

And the joys of Andrew, Lincoln, Laura and Heather

Now this month we celebrate

The birth of Christ, earth’s true Potentate

We’ve hallowed it these twenty-five seasons…together

– eab,Dec. ‘86

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Twas the darkest of nights,

Far from village lights,

In a stable, lonely, forlorn;

That the Kings of kings,

The Brightest of “brights,”

Descended to be born.

– eab, 12/22/06

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