T’was the week before Christmas, and all through my home
Chaos infringed on peace and shalom.
The orders were placed, Amazon soon would ship here
Hopes for new clothing, RC cars, craft beers.


The presents are hidden in the closet with care
that these gifts, though unequal, my three kids will find fair.
Open my smartphone calendar and thumb:
“Remember the gift wrap, cookies, and rum.”


Rushing from work to mall stores and parties
Slurping eggnog and peppermint lattes
Airports, vacations, cruises and trips
Hand-made cards and white elephant gifts.


Black Friday has passed, retailers recover;
Shoppers stumble dazed in credit hangover,
When suddenly to my bleary eyes does appear
A vision of Emmanuel shedding a tear.


For in my desire to capture each moment
I silently forgot His Calvary torment.
Six pound, seven ounce baby Jesus in the manger
Poses no risk, no cultural danger.


Yet on that rough hewn timber He cried,
“Father forgive them!” exposing my pride.
As my hands cast lots for meaningless treasures
And my heart was bent toward temporal pleasures.


So off to the side with my bible I dash
To discover His Word; when life becomes rash
Patience, kindness, generosity, love,
These are the gifts that come from above.


His Word spans generations, customs and cultures
“Love your neighbor; Honor Father and Mother;
Care for widows, orphans, your brother in need;
Show faith not just with words, but also in deed.”


The Good News comes at a price for the faithful:
Admit to vain weakness and declare “He is able.”
Give of your labor and talents to His purpose.
Dirty your hands in heavenly service.


Take back your heart from worldly indulgence.
Lift up His name, find joy in His presence.
Thank Him for blessings, loved ones, abundance.
Pray for a life of meaning and substance.


Forget not this year, in the holiday press
That Jesus takes sinners, with all of our mess;
Gives us new life, redeemed for eternity
And teaches us compassion, hope and humility.


Merry Christmas and may God be glorified through your life!