Here's a little something for the Twelve Days of Christmas, and not a partridge or a pear tree in sight!
With thankfulness give thanks! Rejoice with joy!
For at the favored hour is born a Boy
Whose ageless might, now clothed in humble birth,
Shall shower gifts o'er all who dwell on earth.
What poverty and rudeness marked His birth!
A den of beasts first welcomed Him to earth;
While men of means despised His kingly claim,
Mean men from flock and fold first praised His name.
With penitence repent! As beggars pray
That now, and on the awful youngest day,
We be rewarded not for what we've done,
But for the sake of Mary's holy Son.
At eight days pierced according to the law,
The Christ first bled to mend our flesh's flaw;
The sonship-covenant He lay beneath
Now gathers in those baptized in His death.
At eight days named the angel-whispered name,
Our Savior fully into office came.
For this alone our God with us did dwell:
To save Immanuel's race from sin and hell.
At forty days presented to the priest,
His mother from impurity released,
They made th' appointed off'ring, though in fact
His soul was pure, her maidenhead intact.
Still, in that hour, He caused the prophetess
Her faith in Israel's Savior to confess,
And brought the light of joy into the eyes
Of him who hoped the Lord to recognize.
Said Simeon: Now, Lord, I go to my rest,
Glad of this Child in whom the world is blessed;
Though sword may cut and tongue may idly play,
The thoughts of many hearts lie toward this day.
Then, while the city murmured of a star
And tidings brought by sages from afar,
They found Him, worshiped Him, and presents gave
Fit for the coffer, altar, and the grave.
Pursued by kings, bereft of home and land,
The holy Child fulfilled what God had planned:
From Egypt, whence His chosen line had run,
God called again His bondage-breaking Son.
With faith, believe the tidings you have heard!
Break forth in song! Repeat and praise the Word
Through whose becoming flesh we have been given
The right to be God's children, heirs of heaven!
All glory be to God among His host,
Eternal Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
Sending and sent, He shone on us His face
That we might taste peace, pardon, joy, and grace.