It’s Christmas time, just a few days to go,
And if you’re like me you can’t wait,
But before we start with the presents and ham,
There are a few things I’d like to set straight.
For not everything you’ve heard about Christmas,
Is exactly, factually true,
And I’d like to clear up some old misconceptions,
You might learn something you never knew.
The first Christmas error I’d like to fix up,
Is an age-old yuletide myth,
While we all know the Saviour was born in Bethlehem,
It wasn’t on December twenty-fifth.
You see, no one knows the exact day or month,
That the virgin Mary gave birth,
Although an old friend of mine claimed he knew,
His name is Alistair Firth.
Alistair once told me (as if he was there),
That Jesus was born on June three,
He tried to explain how he figured it out,
But it sounded dodgy to me.
We argued about it, punches were thrown,
We haven’t spoken to each other since…
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is,
Jesus probably wasn’t born on December twenty-fifth.
The next Christmas myth I want to dispel,
Regards the wise men that visited,
And gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh,
Which is some kind of perfume, isn’t it?
In every nativity scene that I’ve seen,
There were always three wise men,
But the bible doesn’t say how many there were,
Though I reckon it would have been about ten.
Because if you were travelling so far and so long,
You’d want some friends around,
But too few and you’d probably get sick of each other,
Too many, you’d get lost in the crowd.
Another Christmas myth that comes to mind,
Is one you’ve not likely heard,
But I mention it here as a warning to all,
In case you meet my uncle Merv.
Uncle Merv once convinced me (I’m embarrassed to admit),
That a tradition in his native Wales,
Is for family members to celebrate the season,
By sharing their credit card details.
Well, I learned a costly financial lesson,
I won’t be forgetting in a hurry,
But if you ever meet my uncle Mervyn,
Make sure you don’t lend him any money.
And one more thing I’d like to address,
As I look at the Christmas story,
Is all the presents we give one another,
‘Round the tree on Christmas morning.
While the presents themselves are a wonderful thing,
And given the occasion, quite fitting,
Our happy tradition might give the impression,
That Christmas begins with us giving.
But the truth of the matter is Christmas begins,
With us having nothing to bring,
It begins with us utterly empty-handed,
With not a single. solitary thing.
For all that we have is a gift from God,
Even waking up each new day,
But for all of the goodness of God to us,
We all of us went astray.
With our actions we turned from God,
And chased our own desires,
And in our hearts we rejected him,
And all his law required.
We tried to make ourselves as God,
And thought that we would rule,
But for all the wisdom we assumed we had,
We ended up as fools.
For what we thought would make us free,
And set us up as kings,
Drowned us all in misery,
And chained us to our sins.
And left us guilty, without excuse,
Naked under the Almighty gaze,
With a deep-down terror we tried to ignore—
Expectation of the judgment day.
For God will certainly judge us all,
For everything we’ve done,
And before the Father’s holy glory,
There is none righteous, no, not one.
But… not only is God righteous and holy,
He is full of mercy and grace,
He loved us so much, he did not want us to die,
So he sent another to die in our place.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
Born on that starry night,
The only man to live without sin,
Then for our sins he died.
On the cross he took our place,
And suffered the wrath of God,
That all our sins might be washed away,
And our life with God restored.
Now empty-handed we may come,
Without a single righteous deed,
In all our sin and guilt and failure,
We may come to God and plead.
Saying, “God, I believe in Jesus Christ,
Your only begotten Son,
Who died for me and rose again,
Paid my ransom with his blood.”
And there before him in humble prayer,
Maybe even afraid to lift our face,
With nothing to offer in our hands,
No worthy words to say,
The simple faith of a lowly sinner,
Meets the faithfulness of God,
And because of what Jesus Christ has done,
Our sin and guilt are no more.
We are forgiven and counted righteous,
Adopted as daughters and sons,
We receive the promise of eternal life,
Never separated from God’s love.
And that is the moment Christmas begins,
When you encounter Jesus Christ,
And all of our presents around the Christmas tree,
Take on a whole new meaning in that light.
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