It seems an appropriate time to post the following poem which I wrote some years ago:
THE NATIVITY RETOLD
An angel came to Mary, as predicted by the prophet,
And told her she would bear a son, but Mary said "Come off it!"
"It's true", replied the angel as he tuned his golden lyre,
"The lad will save mankind from sin - what more could you desire?"
"That's wonderful", the Virgin said, "but why did God choose me?"
The holy messenger looked up and struck a loud top C.
"Because you are the nicest girl that anyone could know."
Our Lady gave a chuckle and agreed that that was so.
This strange event put Mary in a difficult position.
Would neighbours start to gossip when they noticed her condition?She thought it wise to tell them she was carrying God's son,
And to her great relief they cheered, exclaiming "Gosh, what fun!"
Now Mary went to Bethlehem with Joseph, her betrothed,
To sign the census register, a duty which they loathed;
The couple trudged exhausted into Joe's ancestral town,
But found no cheap accommodation - God had let them down!
A sympathetic landlord told the two of them at last:
"I'll let you use the stable till this tax affair is past."
They gladly took the offer up, and two or three days later
The Babe was born, which quite restored their trust in the Creator.
No news of this was heard in town, but yonder in the snow
Our angel friend popped down again to let the shepherds know;
They came and kissed the baby's head, while Mary watched moist-eyed,
Though Joseph thought such grovelling was most undignified.
Their homage done, the joyful shepherds burst into the street,
Exhorting folk to praise the Lord and shout and stamp their feet;
Large crowds approached the stable where the infant Christ slept snugly,
And Roman troops stood close at hand in case the scene turned ugly.
Among the Child's adoring fans, three kings arrived one day;
Their servants brought in precious gifts and put them on display.
But Mary said "Please take them back - my son won't reign on Earth!"
"Be quiet", Joseph told her, "can't you see how much they're worth?"
As soon as they were able to, the family returned
To Nazareth in Galilee, where Jesus quickly learned
The scriptures of the Jewish faith, and then, aged thirty-one,
He died for us, but rose again. Said God: "Well played, old son!"
Though two millennia have passed since Christ cried "It is finished",
The incidence of sin has not perceptibly diminished;
But as the angel vowed that it would one day disappear,
Let's have a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
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