Merry Christmas Eve! Today, we’re bringing you something a little different — several classic Christmas poems that you may not have read before. Don’t speed through these. Enjoy the beautiful language. Relish the messages. Most importantly, rejoice in Christ!
“Christ’s Nativity” (excerpt) by Henry Vaughan
Awake, glad heart! Get up and sing,
It is the birthday of thy King,
The sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.
I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for Thee! Or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene,
Yet if Thou wilt, Thou canst make clean.
Sweet Jesus will then; Let no more
This leper haunt, and soil Thy door,
Cure him, ease him
O release him!
And let once more by mystic birth
The Lord of life be born in earth.
“The Joy of Giving” by John Greenleaf Whittier
Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing
Returns to make you glad.
“Music on Christmas Morning” by Anne Bronte
Music I love—but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine—
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.
Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel’s voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice;
To greet with joy the glorious morn,
Which angels welcomed long ago,
When our redeeming Lord was born,
To bring the light of Heaven below;
The Powers of Darkness to dispel,
And rescue Earth from Death and Hell.
While listening to that sacred strain,
My raptured spirit soars on high;
I seem to hear those songs again
Resounding through the open sky,
That kindled such divine delight,
In those who watched their flocks by night.
With them, I celebrate His birth—
Glory to God, in highest Heaven,
Good-will to men, and peace on Earth,
To us a Saviour-king is given;
Our God is come to claim His own,
And Satan’s power is overthrown!
A sinless God, for sinful men,
Descends to suffer and to bleed;
Hell must renounce its empire then;
The price is paid, the world is freed,
And Satan’s self must now confess,
That Christ has earned a Right to bless:
Now holy Peace may smile from heaven,
And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring:
The captive’s galling bonds are riven,
For our Redeemer is our king;
And He that gave his blood for men
Will lead us home to God again.
“At Christmas” (excerpt) by Edgar Albert Guest
A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season is here;
Then he’s thinking more of others than he’s thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
Man is ever in a struggle and he’s oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that’s in him is the master of the good,
But at Christmas, kindness rules him and he puts himself aside,
And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don’t know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.