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- #LightTheWorld 2019: An overview of the full initiative (including #GivingMachines)
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This is a poem about the first Christmas night, written and spoken by Derek Westra, set to a piano Christmas medley arranged and recorded by Derek Westra (of Musician Impossible). The story depicts the Nativity Story of Jesus Christ’s birth from the perspective of a Shepherd. Here are the words to the poem:
A Christmas Shepherd’s Story:
Shalom everyone. Why, I bid you hello.
I’ve traveled from far, from a long time ago,
To tell you this story, a story that’s true.
The story of someone who saved me, and you.
This tale that I tell is about a great hero,
A baby. A king. Who was born, in year zero.
So sit back, relax. Maybe cuddle. Hold tight.
I’ll tell you what happened on that first Arabian Night.
I’m sorry! Why that’s from a far different tale!
Aladdin is fine, but it’s not on this scale,
But it’s true that my story, it starts in the night,
When a new star was shining, shining so bright.
You see, I am a shepherd, I sleep (well) outside,
And I know all the stars, for they are my guide.
I know every planet, each light in the sky,
So I was amazed when what did I spy?
But up in the blackness, brighter than bright,
A new star appeared, a heavenly light,
I fell to my knees, and I bowed my head,
For this was the sign, of which I had read,
My Savior was born. Right then. Right there.
I needn’t have wondered exactly where,
For under that star, was a trail of white light,
Which pointed the way, in the black of that night,
My friends and I looked at each other in awe,
We were all on our knees, right there on the straw.
And just then, the sky was aglow once again,
But this time an angel appeared to descend,
He approached us so quickly, that we were afeared,
He was tall, and so bright, with white hair and a beard,
“Fear Not!” We all heard. “For I bring you good news.”
“Your Savior is Born. The King of the Jews.”
“You must go. You must see Him. You will find Him that way.”
“A King. In a Manger. Asleep on the hay.”
When he said this, more angels – they burst into song!
Praising this Savior. They had waited so long.
They sang using words such as “glory” and “peace,”
Then the light went away, and the music did cease.
We shepherds were left there in silence, and so,
I said to my friends. “Come. Let us go.”
We started to walk, but soon started to run,
We needed to see that pure little one,
To be there, to worship, that small little boy,
God’s son, who would bring this world so much joy,
We arrived at a scene that I’ll never forget,
The irony of which this stage had been set,
For there was my King. My Savior. My Lord,
In a quite humble stable, where animals are stored.
I first saw His mother, adoring her child,
While He slept in her arms, so meek and so mild,
Joseph was there, His protector on Earth.
Ever loyal, on this, his child’s day of birth,
And then there was Jesus, that sweet Son of God,
The world’s only person, who is truly unflawed,
When I saw Him, I fell to my knees and I cried,
For his presence (so holy) I could scarcely abide.
I thanked Him for being my Savior and friend,
And to Him, I pledged my faith till the end.
We left them, and made our way back to our flocks,
Through the just dawn-lit fields, and over the rocks.
That is my story – my first Christmas night.
When our world received, this heavenly light,
The night that He came, our true Prince of Peace,
Our sins to forgive, and our pain to release.
So each Christmas season, I hope you remember,
This day is much more than the end of December.
It’s not about presents, or fat-men in suits,
It’s about Jesus, and his attributes.
It’s about hope, and kindness and love,
Forgiveness and joy, from our Savior above,
He lives, and He loves you, with all of his glory.
And I thank you, for letting me tell you my story.
By: Derek Westra
Derek’s original Facebook post:
Public Poetry + Piano + Cosplay? This is way out of my comfort zone! ?♂️ Haha! Quick version: here is a little story I wrote about a Shepherd’s perspective that first Christmas night. ?
Longer version: One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be more creative in writing and ?, and to “put it out there.” This is scary for me – as I can’t read music and have no training and I simply don’t feel talented enough to do this publicly. I also made goals to learn more about photoshop, recording music, and YouTube.
I created a YouTube channel called “Musician Impossible” because my kids would give me musical “missions” – songs to learn (in a week) and I’d create a “disguise” to get into character.
It’s been a fun creative outlet and has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was recently asked to serve as the Primary Music Leader in my Church and I realized this whole year has been helping me to be okay being silly and making a fool of myself in front of people. ?
I was asked this week to act like a Shepherd and to tell the story of Jesus’ birth (in front of neighbors and friends). ? Again, this was a stretch for me, but I wrote this little story and it was actually a really neat experience to imagine the Nativity up close, and personal.
I love that baby in a manger. Even though it’s been a scary, learning experience for me – (these are the last nine words of my poem) “Thank you for letting me tell you my story.” ?