O, Holy star of Bethlehem, upon
The night of Jesus’ birth—how blessed were they
Who witnessèd the coming of the Son
As earthwards mercy cast its healing ray.
Lord, how was mankind blessed, upon that day
That thine own son, the Christ so called, was sent
To bring redemption and to show the way
To life eternal, in this firmament.
Father, he spake a simple truth: forgive,
And love each other, but to be like children,
Easy to preach, but much harder to live,
When man puts more faith in some witches’ cauldron
Than in the Gospel truth. Yet Jesus showed
By his example, how to walk the road.
The road of sacrifice, that has been cobbled
By many brothers of the Christian fame,
Both saints and martyrs, though they all but hobbled
Or though mankind remember not their name.
Lord, let us take the cross, and let us claim
The Son as Savior, as we follow them
Upon the road in which there is no shame
In worshipping the child of Bethlehem.
Lord, Godhead condescended in the person
Of Jesus, that his mercy might descend
Upon the earth; heal harms which but did worsen
At man’s attempts to falsify, pretend.
That was a day of blessing, wholly blessed
The sum of Thy creation, worst and best.
The worst of men, although he be a sinner,
May find redemption in the holy church
Erected in the heart; though for his dinner
He begged or stole, he weren’t left in the lurch.
The deepest, darkest heart, if man but search
May find a place, for God to welcome in
Redemption-by-forgiveness, to besmirch
His fettered soul no longer, but cleanse sin.
Lord, many saints and martyrs, prophets too
Have heeded and received Thy mercy, even
Enlightened statesmen (though they have been few),
For whom I pray there be reward in heaven.
None find exclusion, but Thy mercy finds
All men who take Thee into hearts and minds.
Three wise men came with gifts, but let us not
Grotesquely make of these, merely a token
The sum of all our worship, while the lot
Of men heed not the words Jesus had spoken.
Ah, Lord, while men and women wrap or open
Their Christmas gifts, I cannot help but ask
Thee if the Christmas spirit has been broken
By such diversion from the soul’s true task?
Lord, we were meant, who go so far to call
Ourselves the name of Christians, but to carry
Our cross to calvary—no goods withal
So valuable to make us linger, tarry.
Three wise men came, and them we imitate
Who Jesus’ birth with gifts commemorate.
There is no harm in gifts, O Lord, a token
Of kinship whereby we in Christ are bonded,
But so exaggerated, Lord, an oaken
Though damasked casket fits the faith he founded.
Lord, Christian faith, if it has not been grounded
In principle of him the Living Word,
Will see the Gospel message but confounded
As if no special miracle occurred.
Ah, miracle of birth! That Thou didst love
The world enough to send Thy Son to us--
While still men cry Thou dost not love enough--
Yet let me not be one to fume and fuss.
If Jesus Christ, the Word, is not translated
In living hearts, the message be outdated.
That miracle of birth, beneath that star!
Which represents the luminary of
Our Lord on that day born; when from afar
There rode three kings, who gave their gifts in love.
Such love! But if in giving we remove
The heartfelt sentiment, or we forget
What we commemorate, then we may rove
In pagan lands, nor find salvation yet.
King of the Jews, they wrote; and yet he said
His kingdom were not of this world, or else
The armies of his faithful belovèd
Would have protected him; which statement quells
The ardent claims we make in calling our-
Selves Christian who but seek for wealth and power.
Lord, earthly wealth and power! There be kings
Who steep themselves in indolence and pleasure,
Hereditary joy which neither brings
Themselves a conscience clean, nor soul at leisure.
Lord, there be men, who gaze upon the treasure
Of wealth accumulated, over years
Of banditry, deceit, who fear Thy measure
On Judgement Day, yet no one quells their fears.
Ah, Lord, so many set their store by wealth
As if a hoard of shekels were the key
To life’s longevity and body’s health,
As if those were the sum of mystery.
Lord, I believe, as so the Bible saith,
That man must live not by sight but by faith.
Faith, practice, perseverance, these have been
My only prop, when it seemed that against
Me raged the world; when I succumbed to sin
So vile I knew not how the sin commenced.
Yet, Father, though my true way had been fenced
By obstacles, obstruction, yet I find
My heart is tranquil, mind all not incensed
By anger when with Christ I am aligned.
Lord Jesus, I who have succumbed to hate
And to vindictive anger many times,
Have borne my cross, although it seems the weight
Was carried most by Thee, despite my crimes.
Saints, prophets, martyrs! Lord, in my small part,
Let me be Christian, with unsullied heart.