‘Twas the night before Christmas
At a church called Redeemer
With everyone gathered,
Both cynic and dreamer.

We’ve come in our suits
With our hearts on our sleeves
Home from college, tired from work
Opened up to believe

And to tell the old story
Of Christ and his birth,
And hear the choirs singing
Of “Peace on the earth.”

Thanks to Bert, they are ready
They have practiced and prayed
Learned some Spanish, sung in Latin
Of the Babe and the Maid.

So raise your loud voices
In strains pure, divine
Don’t worry about tune,
Remember Sister Caroline!

There’s Mary and Joseph
14 shepherds, a star
Scores of angels, some sheep
And 3 kings from afar.

Jan S. sewed their costumes
With some thread and a thimble
Using bedsheets and bathrobes
To create all the symbols.

And Maggie directed,
Took the cast through their paces
Advising every child
“Let your mom see your faces.”

The Youth greened the church
Swung the swags, stood the trees,
And the flower guild just yesterday
Made this room the “bee’s knees.”

So it took the whole village
To prepare for this night,
To find room in our lives
And kindle the light

Of Mary and Joseph
And wee little Jesus.
Have you noticed the staff
Is now over their sneezes?

You see all this month
We have battled the flu,
First me, then Cristina,
Mark, Barb, Paul, and Vu.

But we hardly slowed down
Or changed our behavior.
Thanks to you we are ready
For the birth of our savior.

It’s been a tough year,
Close to home, far away
And our leaders have argued:
Kept agreements at bay.

There’s Aleppo and China,
North Korea, the election,
People angry, children suffering
And it calls for introspection.

I believe we’ve forgotten
That beneath fear and strife
Folks are all just the same,
Pray for peace, pray for life.

No matter your faith
Or your gender, your color,
Whoever is last
That one is our brother.

So we need to make sure
That the least and the lost
Are loved and raised up
No matter the cost.

That’s the pearl of great price,
It’s the old gospel hymn,
That God was born like us,
So that we might be like him.

It’s the gift of the season,
And our present to you:
Merry Christmas, Baltimore,
And Blessed New Year, too.