‘Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the lawn
150 were gathered, ‘round dusk (‘twas not dawn!)
Luminarias were placed round the driveway with care,
In hopes that the deer wouldn’t stomp on them there!

People were wrapped in warm blankets on chairs,
While light from the firepits danced round their hairs;
Dear friends and loved ones, and I in my cape,
Had just settled in for a Christmas Eve “date”

When out from the church there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our posts, to see what was the matter!‘
Twas only the choir and the pageant-tableau
Nice and toasty inside, oh wouldn’t you know?

What a year, what a year! More like two years, in fact!
Life’s felt upended and hardly in-tact
Darn virus persists, pandemic’s still here
It started with delta, now omicron we fear

Divisions abound, wherever we turn
Politics and race, oh when will we learn?
Loved ones fell ill, and others, they passed
Masks, on or off? Boosters, how long will they last?

To gather or not? How many, how few?
And 2-point conversions, the Ravens don’t do!
People are hungry, students can’t learn
Folks keep on struggling for wages to earn

And yet here we are, we’ve gathered once more
To sing and to pray, to watch and hear lore
A story so ancient, so treasured, so true
Of God born among us, for me and for you

God came not to kings or to queens or to power
Not to glimmering, shimmering wealth on the hour
But to Mary and Joseph, poor, humble and meek
Who struggled to make it, week upon week

To a world that was messy, uncertain, unsure
A world that so desperately yearned for a pure
Message from heav’n, from deep within all
That love’s born anew, whatever befalls

Us folks, then and now; distant, near or far
Light shines in the darkness, and spreads from a star
A single flame kindled, in you and in me
Binds one to another and through eternity

We need not know what exactly the future will bring
Love reigns in our hearts, it’s there She is King
And so we’re reminded for once yet again
To keep watch for that star to shine forth, oh dear friends

On Bert and the choir! On Robert, Connections!
On Barb and Rebecca, Jan, Mary and Ellen!
On Freda Marie! On Mark, Chuan and Grace!
On Katrina … On David … our leader in this race!

A race not to conquer, to win or to beat
But to serve others with kindness and joy, is our feat
So onward together, and on with our fight
Merry Christmas to All! And to All a Good Night!