'Twere The Days Before Christmas


Rishi Deep/Unsplash

I (James) once served at a church that was doing an Advent series with this title, so I wrote a poem, based on the famous "A Visit From St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore. Enjoy!


‘Twere the days before Christmas, when all ’round David’s town

Not an Israelite was smiling, but more likely to frown.

Zechariah laid the incense by the altar with care,

Frightened to see the angel Gabriel there.

For God made a promise to the elderly gent

A Spirit-filled baby will lead many to repent.

He will shout from the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way.

‘Be righteous and charitable as we wait for the day.’

He’d be dressed in camel hair, from his head to his foot,

Eating locusts, wild honey and never staying put.

Zechariah’s son’s message would cause the rich strife,

And immerse the lowly and unholy in new life.

For Zechariah’s son, John would be his name,

Would bring God’s righteousness and saving plan to fame.

John’s birth would be one of many miracles to come,

But because Zechariah doubted, he then became mum.

But though Zechariah could not speak of his glee,

his wife praised God for her pregnancy.

Though the land was morose under Caesar’s quick sword,

There was then a sense of hope in the Lord.


Then, in Nazareth where hearts are gloom laden

The same angel appeared to a humble young maiden

Her name was Mary; she was celibate and lowly

But she would give birth to One Most Holy.

His name would be Jesus, meaning ‘one who saves’

He would rescue many bound for a perennial grave

For His kingdom’s rule would never be undone

And He would be called God’s very own Son

Mary was frightened and joyful at once

But submitted herself to God at this bunce

With haste, she trekked miles, perhaps more than a dozen

To see Elizabeth, who was also her cousin

When Mary saw Elizabeth, John jumped in her womb

For joy was tangible in that little room

Then Mary composed a psalm of great praise

For His humble servants the Lord would raise


Later John was born, but his name still debated

And the mute Zechariah became quite frustrated

He wrote ‘John’ on a tablet, giving the final word

And his voice then came back, everyone shockingly heard

Zechariah then went from priest to prophet

And spoke of his newborn’s God-given docket

Along with the salvation that God would afford

And everyone in Judea had fear of the Lord


Then back in Nazareth, Mary’s betrothed then heard

From Caesar, that another census was spurred.

So Joseph and Mary, in her maternity gown,

Would trek to Bethlehem, Joseph’s hometown.

The carpenter and his gravid fiancee packed all day,

and hopped on a donkey for a small place to stay.

Their loved ones watched until they trekked out of sight,

Shrugging, “Safe travels and have a good night!”

Though it seemed to many that God’s world had crumbled

He was, in fact, blessing families faithful but humble

Through a miraculous conception and an incarnate birth

This is how God would come save the earth

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