What Christmas Means to Me

Generations before me gazed at the sky.
My father and grandfather followed their eye.
They sought for a sign they said was foretold.
Some laughed, some mocked, some thought the tale old.
Yet the long saying piqued the interest
Of certain wise men; this tale that persists
Of a Son to be born; the birth of a King,
From Hebrew lineage, born peace to bring.

And so I followed the steps of my kin,
Looking and watching, waiting for Him.
Night after night, I searched the vast sky;
Would the privilege be mine, or would I too die
Without ere a glimpse of the sign of the One;
The Messiah, the Prince, the King, the Son?
I pleaded with heaven the privilege to see,
This wonder of wonders, His star in the East.

A thousand and four hundred years had gone by
Since the mad prophet had spoke of the sky;
A Star would shine forth, a luminous orb,
And wondrous things too deep to absorb.
Five hundred years plus since Daniel had said:
“Sixty-nine sevens were yet to be had
Before the appearance of Wisdom’s Wealth
Who would be cut off, but not for Himself.”

“Where are you going?” my wife used to say,
After the meal, and dark replaced day.
“I just want to look to see if its there,
This sign of the Savior, in the stars’ glare.”
“How long shall you look, it never has come
Since the days of your fathers. Don’t be so dumb.”
“But wife,” I would say, “don’t worry about me.
I’ll be back soon, I just want to see.

Day after day I yearned for the night,
When I could check to see if the sight
Of the wondrous sign, the star had appeared;
A new star in glory, a new King who was near.
Night after night I searched but in vain,
The constellations of heaven continued the same.
Yet, the new day did nothing to ease
That yearning to know, the longing to see
The star in the East.

Then one night, when watching the stars,
I saw a new sight, brighter than Mars.
My heart skipped a beat, or two or three.
This star is not where a star ought to be.
I knew from long years where stars ought to be
As they crossed the sky from sea to sea.
But this star was different, new to the sky.
Its brightness was subtle, but clear to the eye.

I called to my wife, I called to my friends:
“You must come and see; the ancient search ends.
A star has appeared, His star in the night.
It is up there, a great glorious light.”
At the same time, I heard a great shout.
My wife saw it too, and ended her doubt.
My friends gathered ’round. We let it be known
That a King had appeared; a sign had been shown.

The star was amazing, different than all.
Some say it was brighter, to me it was tall.
Shaped like a cross longer than wide,
Its beams seemed to reach right to my side.
I gathered the scroll and read once again,
“A Star out of Jacob, a Shatterer of sin.”
Far greater than grand,
It seemed that the universe was holding my hand.

Through all these years, our fathers were right.
A sign would appear, this wonderful sight.
There was no doubt, this star was the one
Foretold by the prophet announcing the Son.
Anticipation answered by awe,
A beacon of promise, this star that I saw.
Unforgettable privilege given to me
To gaze at the sign of the King to be.

But the star in the sky was not yet the end,
I turned to my wife, I turned to my friends:
“I must go see this Child who is born.
I must go see Amalek’s Thorn.
I must go see the End of the Age.
I must go see the Prince of the sage.
I must go see the King of the light;
This One I sought for night after night.”

My wife prepared victuals for travelers three,
Two friends and myself leaving to see
A sight much, much greater than stars in the sky,
The Child who was born, a Promise come nigh.
The hope of the world, the coming of Him
Who prophets foretold, victories to win,
A kingdom to come, world without end,
The One over all, whom God would send.

We left in a hurry, but not without thought.
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh, first we had bought.
Gold was a gift fit for a king,
Riches untold we wanted to bring.
Frankincense offered, a gift for the God
Who came to this world to tread on our sod.
Myrrh was the fragrance more precious than all,
A lifetime of earnings, spent for the call.

We journeyed long days, we slept shortened nights
Until we arrived at Jerusalem’s might.
We inquired of sages where He was born,
This King of the Jews, this Son of the morn.
They searched in their Scriptures and said with a start,
“Micah said ‘Bethlehem’ just south of this part.
But we ourselves know nothing of this –
This message of yours, will it be bliss?”

We left right away, though it was late,
“Only six miles.” We picked up our gait.
As we drew near to Bethlehem town
The star reappeared, seeming to crown
The village with grace and glory around.
Our minds began floating, our hearts to pound,
Silence abounded as we trod ‘cross the ground.

The star moved before us in luminous state.
It came to a house, the new king’s estate.
But estate it was not, a poor shack of a place.
It did not seem fitting for a king to embrace.
This could not be right, we began looking ’round
To seek for a palace more stout and more sound.
Yet as we looked, the light seemed to fade.
The star seemed perturbed at the choice we had made.

Looking back to the house, the star brightly shown
Giving a glory to the structure well worn.
We knocked on the door, yearning to find
This prophesied child, would He mind
That we, such strange persons, had knocked at His door
So late in the night? Should we knock more?
The silence was long, what should we do?
Would we be impostors? We had no clue.

And then a man’s voice inside the house walls:
“What does this mean, why this late call?”
We answered at once, “We are magi who’ve come
From far in the East, to see the pure One.
Seeing His star, we came to the west.
We have journeyed so long pursuing this quest.
And now that we’re here, we dare not now wait
To see the true Son, although it’s quite late.”

A candle was lit, a lamp followed soon,
The bar was unbarred, opening the room.
We were surprised, not much was there,
The house seemed cold, the room seemed bare –
A bed on the floor, a desk and a chair,
A small throw of clothes. We noticed the stare
Of a young woman, recently awakened
Holding the Child, the Son of the maiden.

There was no doubt, we had found out
This was the One the star was about.
We looked at the Child, and saw in His eyes
A truth far deeper than we could ever surmise.
More than a king, we knew right away,
Those eyes revealed more than words could say.
Those eyes reached back to eternity
And reached to the heart of my friends and me.

Those eyes spoke of glory we never had known.
They spoke of a love gracefully shown.
They spoke of peace, contentment within.
They spoke of suffering, a pardon from sin.
They spoke of hope, life evermore.
They spoke of a day, the world reborn.
They spoke of a God who cared for each one,
Who demonstrated His care by sending His Son.

We fell to our knees, we offered our thanks
To this Gift beyond all, supreme o’re all ranks.
We opened our meager, pitiful gifts,
Our gold, myrhh, and frankincense.
Our gifts seemed so small when faced with His grace.
All we had could never replace
Or compare to the privilege of seeing this One,
The Hope of the ages, the God-man Son.

You ask why I make Christmas a holiday rare?
Why does the season make me dare
To leave the thoughts of tinsel and gifts
And think of the Son, the One who yet lives.
It’s because I have seen Him, I’ll never forget
The moment of presence, the awe of eyes met;
Of warmth and forgiveness, of relationship strong,
The God of the universe, for Him I long.

This is what Christmas means to me
More than a season, ’tis the reason to be.
A lifetime of longing, a hope fulfilled,
The Son of the ages, the God-man still
Looking at me through a child’s eyes,
Warm and inviting to earth and the skies;
All creatures together, dwelling in peace,
In Him united long after ages cease.

A Christian poem by:  Tim Binder December 14, 2008

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