One week ago, HSLDA President J. Michael Smith visited a small, African-American church in Middleburg, Va., wholeheartedly enjoying what he described as a delightful three hours of worship, prayer, Bible readings, and personal testimonies. At one point in the service, he recalls, a woman stood up and asked to read a poem about Christmas, the author of which, to our knowledge, is unknown. In a culture and at a time when even Christians may have difficulty keeping their hearts connected to what’s real and what’s not, we thought this simple, homespun poem -- a Christian variation of the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas tale -- might help restore a proper focus. It is an unconventional American Roundtable commentary, but we thought you might enjoy it.
Please see Mr. Smith’s comments at the end of the poem.
'Twas The Night Before Jesus Came
written by Unknown Author
'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed.
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter.
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!
The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said "it's not here" my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound.
While all the rest were left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!
From HSLDA President J. Michael Smith: “In many ways, I think this is a brilliant poem, because it reminds us that Jesus is coming and that, very likely, we don’t have a lot of time. I can’t imagine there are too many Christians out there who are blind to what’s happening in our world. And it’s speeding up, happening quicker and quicker with each passing year. James (4:13-16) reminds us not to assume that we’ll even be here tomorrow. As the poem says, on the day when our Lord returns, the whole world will see it. On that day, truth will be revealed, and the five or six billion people on this planet will behold Jesus and say to themselves, ‘Oh my, that story was true. The Bible is true.’
“You and I have a message to share with the world: the Bible is true. Jesus is real, and He came to save us. That’s what Patrick Henry College is about, communicating the truth about God, sharing the origins of government and justice, serving the nation, and telling the truth about His plan for our lives, marriages, and families. We’re trying to get that message out, in part, through these bright, godly young students who love Jesus. I’ve met them, and I’ve seen them moving out into the culture -- filled with faith and equipped with a solid education -- to add their voice to the chorus of Christians everywhere, sharing the staggering good news that the Bible is true.
“Merry Christmas! May Christ richly bless you and your family in the New Year.”
J. Michael Smith, Esq.
Home School Legal Defense Association