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The Christmas Story
Written by Lucette Forrest, 18 November, 1980
‘My son,’ he said to Lord Jesus –
Oh, aeons and aeons ago –
‘You can see what has happened, dear Jesus,
To the beautiful world we designed.’
‘Yes, Father, how Lucifer’s spoiled it!’
Thus ages and ages ago,
God asked of his dear son a favour
And both to their fate were resigned.
Have you ever thought how in heaven
God missed a loved son from his side?
For paradise lost precious leaven
Which came down to be crucified.
And God on his throne was so lonely,
For the world had the leaven instead,
Which was working to make us and raise us,
As yeast which is working in bread.
Yes, Jesus came down as a baby –
Oh, this happened a long time ago –
And he, too, was a dispossessed person
In a manager where chilling drafts blow.
He was helpless, dependent on Mary
When once he’d reigned high and supreme;
That there should be no room at the inn there
Was all part of a fantastic scheme.
There were angels, all singing to shepherds,
Nearly two thousand, long years ago,
They were awe struck until the archangel
Told them not to fear and where to go.
So the rushed there and found him and worshipped,
Came away with their hearts full of praise,
Told all that they met what had happened,
Though their poor minds were still in a daze.
He lived with his father and mother,
Knew all about family life.
In the rough and tumble of brothers
He often brought peace out of strife;
But by other boys must have been goaded –
Oh yes, he knew heartache and care.
‘Stand up and fight me, you coward!
You don’t fight? You mean you don’t dare!’
He toiled for such long hours with Joseph,
A carpenter’s work takes great pains
And our Lord always likes things just perfect,
Oh, what joy to have seen what he made!
Consider all those privileged people
Who owned things created by him
When he, too, was their self-same creator.
Just think what a deity deigns!
But Jesus left home and the fireside
And slept sometimes under the sky
In the wind and the rain, with only his cloak –
Do you think, my dear friends, he was dry?
He did this to bring folk a message
Of peace and of hope and of love.
He preached and he healed, tried to show them
Just why he came from above.
He left family, friends and a warm fire,
Throughout Palestine he would roam,
Teaching and preaching and loving them all,
And them he would send them off home.
But himself he was homeless. He told them
The foxes have dens, the birds nests;
There is nowhere alas, where your Saviour
Can claim is the place where he rests.
And then came the great degradation:
Gethsemane, Calvary and death –
But also that cry, so exultant,
‘It is finished!’ claimed with his last breath.
You, my friends, tell this story at Easter,
But at Christmas we speak of the babe
Born at Bethlehem, packed out with people
Come because of the census, we know.
That baby was Jesus, Redeemer,
Who came everybody to save.
He was born in a cold, draughty stable
And some people say there was snow.
He was made man for you and me, dear ones,
It happened so long, long ago
But we still love to tell the old story,
Just as I am now, isn’t it grand?
And I know as I tell this great story
That it happened exactly as planned.
All because our Father in heaven
Thinking, aeons and aeons ago,
Turning his head sadly, saying
‘My son, I shall ask you to go
There and show them forgiveness –
Save them from themselves, make them ours.
Will you?’ Our Lord had to confess
That he’d much rather stay
But, for you and for me,
He smiled as he softly said ‘Yes.’