Archive for December, 2010

Bethlehem, A Christmas Poem

Friday, December 24th, 2010

The holy Scriptures tell the story
Of a small, insignificant town.
Yet to this place came regal glory,
This hamlet of eternal renown.

The record begins with Jacob’s band
Travelling from Bethel, the house of God.
Crossing this promised yet foreign land,
Every step they tread on holy sod.

For Jacob’s Rachel, labor and pain.
A son! “Son of my sorrow,” she said.
Midwives assured her it was not vain,
“A son—new life!” But Rachel lay dead.

A child and a grave for Jacob’s wife
Near Bethlehem, plot of sacred ground,
This heart-rending mix of death and life,
With a stone pillar her tomb was crowned.

The tale goes on, now a Gentile bride,
From the land of Moab young Ruth came,
Always at hand by Naomi’s side,
She humbled herself, yet rose to fame.

Bethlehem at the barley harvest,
Redeemed by Boaz, a kinsman near.
“Like Rachel and Leah may you be blest!”
And Ruth gave birth to a son that year.

Samuel obeyed God’s holy command.
To Bethlehem in peace he came
To anoint as king to rule the land,
A keeper of sheep, David by name.

A shepherd, psalmist, prophet, and king
Reigning in Zion, the holy place.
Only a shadow of what God would bring,
From his lineage Messiah trace.

In days of old called Ephrath, the place
Where the grave of Rachel lies,
Near that same place, on a night of grace,
’Neath inky, starlit, Judean skies,

In a stable a baby was born,
This infant the strength of David’s tribe.
This child of Mary, salvation’s horn,
Now the Word in flesh to e’er abide.

The tiny babe she dressed and suckled,
A mother to feed this living bread.
In a manger the weak child cradled,
Yet he the Creator, the Sovereign head!

To Bethlehem the Magi journeyed
Guided by star and prophet’s word,
Bringing great gifts of price unmeasured
To lay before the infant Lord.

Frankincense, myrrh, and treasures of gold,
Gifts for the child, yet fit for a king.
With awe and wonder him they behold.
With faith and reverence worship they bring.

Will you come too, just like these Sages,
To sing and rejoice and see the Lord?
Bring not gold and priceless treasures,
But a humble heart to believe his word.