10 Christmas Poems for Church
--- and Church Bulletins ---
... and of course, for anyone else!

Christmas nativity scene in church with hand-painted figures, and the wooden stable I made.

January 10, 2012 - I traveled over 1000 miles each way to get this picture!  For several years, I've been wanting to use photos of this nativity scene on this website.

In the mid 1990's, when I was a pastor, our church received this beautiful gift of hand-made, hand-painted nativity scene figures from a community in Quebec, Canada. The figures are not small, but fairly good-sized.

I made the stable, which took 3 days. It seemed almost a miraculous time, since I made it mostly from wood scraps in a firewood pile. For example, I chopped the cedar shakes for the roof and front from some muddy logs, which I found out had been an old cedar telephone post.

You are welcome to use and share these poems, provided you follow the Poem Terms and Conditions.

366. To Churchgoers at Christmas

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

If Christmas or Easter's about,
To church the only time you come,
Be assured we all are sinners,
We'll try to give our best welcome.

But God sees you if you should come,
To show your riches and glory,
Or just to stop some guilt of yours.
So let me tell this Christmas story.

Neither palace nor inn had room,
For the newborn king who would save.
Joseph and Mary only found,
A place in an animal cave.

Christ's birth was not announced in
Jerusalem and temple grand,
But only to the humble folk,
Considered outcasts in the land.

All their lives, Joseph and Mary,
Shepherds, Anna, Simeon too,
And wise men come from country far,
Lived faithful to God like so few.

God came to those who spent their lives,
Searching, longing, and preparing.
Not those who praised God with their lips,
Yet in their own hearts were mocking.

Some folks would better stay at home,
By fireplace in soft chair curled,
And stop pretending, for Christ said,
My kingdom is not of this world.

Only if we agree to let,
God into our sinful hearts,
And by his grace, repent of sin,
Then in Christmas, can we have part.

The last line of the 6th verse - "My kingdom is not of this world." - is found in John 18:36.

367. I'd Rather the Stinky Shepherds

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

I'd rather the stinky shepherds,
Come to my church on Christmas day.
They kept their duty watching sheep,
And through the long nights they would pray.

The world thought the shepherds outcasts,
Their job too crude, not bathing for weeks.
But their hearts welcomed me inside,
This is the beauty your God seeks.

When angels told my birth to them,
I clearly set my precedence,
I'd rather the stinky shepherds,
Than proud hearts filled with decadence.

Fancy clothes and costly perfume,
In my sight, means nothing at all.
Offensive is the stench of sins,
You won't repent of. What the gall!

I'd rather the stinky shepherds,
Sinners who ask my forgiveness.
In all your weakness come to me.
I'll give you myself this Christmas.

I'd rather the stinky shepherds,
In my church they will find a place,
And upon those with hearts like theirs,
I will pour my blessings and grace.

368. Lucky Jesus (a Christmas interview with Jesus)

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

Lucky Jesus, you got to choose,
As God, your own parents the best,
Both sweet Mary and kind Joseph.
It doesn't seem fair to the rest.

Brothers and sisters, someday,
You will more fully understand.
Remember I chose the lowly,
The poorest of all in the land.

Let me ask you, who would you choose
If you could write your own story?
Rich, wealthy, powerful royals,
Or ones steeped in fame and glory?

Would you choose years of suffering,
Poverty, ridicule, and more?
And would the wealth and fame you choose,
Come from heaven's eternal store?

Besides, you do choose your parents,
By the way you now act and live,
You choose the devil for father,
Or my Heavenly Father I'll give.

You either do slave work for Satan,
Who chains you so cruel and tight.
Or take the burden I give you,
My yoke is easy and light.

Follow me, I'll deliver you,
From the bonds of Satan and sin.
In you will dwell my own family,
The kingdom of heaven within.

The 5th, 6th, and 7th verses are inspirations coming from the words of Jesus found in the Gospels. See the explanation and bible references below.

369. Yet Still

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

"Joseph and Mary were quite poor.
Some of the poorest in the land.
Joseph made tables, fixed a door,
Whatever he could find at hand.

"Mary's chores were heavy also,
Get water, grind grain, bake the bread,
Clean house, make clothes, wash, mend, sew,
The lot of the poor until dead.

"Yet still Joseph and Mary prayed,
For God's blessings on all mankind.
They often thanked God for his aid,
Health of body, soul, heart and mind.

"While many people were grumbling,
Against tyrants who had no care,
They made the time every day,
To spend with God in earnest prayer.

"Joseph and Mary oftentimes,
Did not have much food for eating.
Taxes were cruel, many the crimes,
Stealing from the poor by cheating.

"Yet still, Joseph and Mary shared,
With others what little they had.
My friend, like them, I wish you cared.
I know. They are my mom and dad."

370. A Christmas Interview with Mary

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

Welcome, Mary. Tell us your thoughts
On when you became a mother.
And then gave birth to him,
Who is our Savior and brother.

Thank you kindly. I am so blest.
I'm happy to answer in rhyme.
By God's grace, I learned early
To not waste a moment of time.

I lived a life of hidden work.
With daily time of quiet prayer.
I chose to serve God with my all,
In every little thing with care.

I only said yes to God's plan,
Because I said yes every day.
He gave the grace of faithfulness,
To each duty that came my way.

I am filled with greatest sorrow,
My heart breaks. I want to cry.
Many serve not God nor neighbor,
But serve themselves, and then they die.

There's tears in my eyes just thinking,
Of how I might have missed the chance.
By serving God as best I could,
On lowly me he gave his glance.

371. Why God Chose Mary

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

Mary spent her life in service,
Working for God in solitude.
Mary above all the others,
Was filled with humble gratitude.

God chooses those who follow him.
Mary served God from her heart.
Let's learn this lesson, it is why
In God's own plan she had a part.

Mary made time every day,
To spend with God in thankful prayer.
Why did God choose her for mother?
In her heart, he was already there.

372. A Christmas Interview with Joseph

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

Joseph, please, your thoughts on Christmas.
When and how did this story start?
Tell us about this great event.
What did you do, what was your part?

It's not about me, good people,
But the Gift God sends to us all.
The good I do is by God's grace.
My aim is to follow his call.

Far better that you ask Mary.
She is the mother of our child.
I serve them both, my words are poor.
Mary is sweet, gentle and mild.

This is Mary. Let me tell you,
Joseph serves God with every breath.
He works hard for our small family.
He saved us both from certain death.

Joseph saved my life from stoning,
He saved Jesus from Herod's sword.
In each case he was warned in dreams,
Hearing the angel of the Lord.

To Bethlehem, then to Egypt,
Joseph's work was disrupted quite.
He is a model of fidelity,
To our duty, whatever plight.

Not by words but by his actions,
Joseph became a faithful shield,
Or Christmas might not have happened.
Are you a worker in God's field?

We find no spoken words of Joseph in the Gospel accounts. Yet he is a very close friend of God, serving as protector and provider for his family, as foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary. He is called a just man.

Much of this poem comes from the account of Jesus' birth in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 1 and 2. This Gospel records 4 dreams in which Joseph was given directions at critical times. (Matthew 1: 20-24; 2:13-14; 2:19-21, and 2:22)

373. A Christmas Interview with the Shepherds

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

Shepherds, it's a bit unusual,
To see you here, while some still sleep.
How are you doing, how is your work?
How goes your watching flocks of sheep?

Not about us or what we do,
We are here in town this morning,
To tell you what happened last night.
An angel came without warning!

At his sight we had a great fear,
Shining around was God's glory.
The angel said, "Don't be afraid."
And then he told us this story:

"I proclaim good news of great joy,
For all the people it shall be.
In David's city Messiah is born,
And this is what you will see:

"An infant wrapped in swaddling clothes,
In a manger he is lying."
Then suddenly angel armies
We saw in crowds multiplying!

They had more good news, praising God,
To celebrate this awesome birth:
"Glory be to God in the highest,
And peace to people on earth!"

To see all these things for ourselves,
We hurried to Bethlehem where,
We found Mary, also Joseph,
And the boy infant lying there.

All these things, we discovered,
Took place just as the angel said.
For joy we cannot help ourselves,
But must this news to others spread!

Thank you, shepherds, all who hear you,
Are amazed at every word.
On your return you praise the Lord,
For all that you have seen and heard.

The facts in this poem closely follow some of the facts given in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1-20, which is often read in many Christmas church services. It is quite appropriate to read this - if possible as a family - in the evening of Christmas Eve.

On another page, I have the

"A Christmas Interview with the Wise Men".

374. The 8 Beatitudes of Christmas

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

1. Blessed are you, poorest baby,
You are the Kingdom of Heaven.

2. Blessed are your tears and crying,
You are comforted by Mary.

3. Blessed are you, humble meek child,
You are ruler over all lands.

4. Blessed your hunger and thirsting,
To atone for sins, bring God to us.

5. Blessed, O giver of mercy,
Who comes to you will receive it.

6. Blessed, purest holiest child,
Who not only sees, but is, God.

7. Blessed, O greatest peacemaker,
The first-born child of Father God.

8. Chased, persecuted by Herod,
You are Blessed King of heaven.

This poem is an inspirational twist on the 8 Beatitudes, telling them back to the Child Jesus in meditation, prayer and praise.

A good way to appreciate this poem, is to compare each verse to the original 8 Beatitudes, the very first major public teaching of Jesus recorded in the bible, beginning what is known as "The Sermon on the Mount". (Matthew 5:3-10)

375. A Very Short Christmas Song

     by Paul Berchtold, December, 2013

Glory to God in the highest,
And peace to his people on earth.
It's one of the shortest songs,
Said by angels at Jesus' birth.

Just half a stanza, this short verse,
It is only 2 short lines long.
And though the angels said it,
It has become a great hymn song.

It's also a mini-Gospel,
It's Good News, Christ's own life purpose,
Atone for sin, bring God to man,
By a life of total service.

Let's join in this shortest of hymns,
Said by angels at Jesus' birth.
Glory to God in the highest,
And peace to his people on earth.

This poem is adapted from what the angels said, that the shepherds heard, found in the bible verse Luke 2:14.


             Poems by Paul Berchtold
      © Copyright - All rights reserved.

You are welcome to use and share these poems, provided you follow the Poem Terms and Conditions.

Comments on Poem 368, "Lucky Jesus"

Some ideas in the 5th, 6th, and 7th verses of the poem "Lucky Jesus" are taken from various verses in the Holy Bible:

A strong example of having the devil for father is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 8. Jesus accused the unrepentant Pharisees of murder, and lying, even though they denied it. By their actions at the end of this event, trying to stone Jesus, they proved what Jesus said. The Pharisees claimed Abraham was their father, then that God was their only father, and that they had never been slaves but always free. Jesus set them straight, saying they would die in their sin, everyone who sins is a slave to sin, and that the devil was their father, and they wanted to do what the devil wanted, who is a murderer and liar, the father of lies.

One of the best examples of having God for our father is when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, after they asked him. He said to pray in this way, "Our Father, in heaven..." - Matthew 6:9. Also refer to the teachings and prayers of Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper, the night before he died, found in the Gospel of John, chapters 13-17.

"My yoke is easy, and my burden light." Matthew 11:30

"Follow me." Jesus gives this invitation to all those who are to be his disciples. This invitation is found many times in all 4 Gospels. (Matthew 4:19, 8:22, 9:9, 10:38, 16:24, 19:21; Mark 1:17, 2:14, 8:34, 10:21; Luke 5:27, 9:23, 9:59-61, 14:27, 18:22; John 1:43, 8:12, 10:27, 12:26; 21:19-22)

"The kingdom of God is within." Luke 17:21. Various translations say the kingdom of God is among you, or in your midst, but the context of Jesus words is that it is hidden, and cannot be observed outwardly, or announced, in answer to the Pharisees who asked when the kingdom of God would come. Only Matthew uses the term kingdom of heaven, but it is the same as the kingdom of God, which the other gospel writers use for the same events, and stories of Jesus.

This inspiration gives all of us much food for thought as well.

Thank your stars.

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