'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 St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads
And mama in her kerchief and I in my cap
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
But inside my mind, there arose such a clatter
I got out of bed to ponder the matter.
I stood at the window and felt my thoughts clash;
I was wounded with questions that left a deep gash.
My mood as I looked out on new-fallen snow
Said, "What's life all about? Does anyone know?"
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But some carolers singing only the words weren't clear.
With voices so vibrant, so living with joy,
They made me happy, like a child with a toy.
Their words became clearer as closer they came:
They were singing about Jesus, and praising his name.
"Now doper, now dancer, now prancer, now tossed!
"Come communist, come capitalist, come searcher, come lost!
"From the best of the proud to the least of the small,
"Jesus loves you, he died for you, he calls you all!"
As dry leaves that before the hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle up in the sky
So up to the housetop their choruses flew
And pulled down my questions and my doubtings, too.
So I got my old Bible and read from the lines
How Jesus had come to the earth and confined
His power and glory in a body like mine
And with sinners and rebels had walked and dined.
His life, how it sparkled with healing and mercy!
He gave wine for a wedding, living water to the thirsty.
He came to serve, to love, and to warn
That by his name men could be reborn.
So, learning that he had died for me
From this tangled mess to set me free
I bowed my head in a short, simple prayer
Turning over to him all of my cares.
And in he came, with a shout of glee
So happy he was to set me free!
His spirit came down deep within
And cleansed my heart and soul from sin.
Now I know he was born and I know that he lives,
And I'll tell all the world of the love that he gives,
Of the only real peace and the only true light . . .
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.