Editor’s note: “Matters of faith” is a column that provides local religious leaders a place to write about how their respective faiths provide hope, courage and strength in these modern times.
Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the world,
Not a person was worried, not a boy or a girl.
Every plan had been made to celebrate well.
Nothing left to chance, as anyone could tell.
Each present had been chosen for just the right reason.
No one dared forget, this was the jubilant season.
How the world had changed; everyone got along.
They had learned so well to sing the same song.
All brothers, all sisters, all one human race,
A global community, and disharmony — not a trace.
War had been banished; peace reigned from shore to shore.
And on the horizon of time, we could anticipate more.
Surely Santa would be pleased with one and with all.
We waited in wonder for the sound of his call.
But just when it seemed all was well, all was right,
We were awakened from our slumber in a horrible fright.
It wasn’t Santa’s sleigh, pulled by tiny reindeer.
It was Someone unexpected, and He filled us with fear.
We knew His Name; it was on the tip of our tongue.
We’d heard of Him often, at least when we were young.
As we stood and we pondered, we started to recall;
We had ordered Him banished from the Capitol, and from the mall.
Nothing for us, but that which brought smiles.
Intolerance for His Name led us astray by the miles.
“How dare you celebrate My Birthday, and say all should be excited,
But make it clear to one and all that I am not invited.
Since you declare Me obsolete, and banish Me from your midst,
I guess you no longer want my Free Eternal Gift.”
As the light began to fade, and terror spread throughout our ranks,
I awoke from my nightmare, and to my knees I sank.
How dare we forget the One born on this day!
How dare we forget why He chose to come this way!
It wasn’t for Himself that He was born, and then He died.
It was all just for us, that He offered His life.
If we use His Day, let us use it for Him.
Let us celebrate Christmas by letting Christ in.
McCartney is pastor for First Baptist Church of Tooele.