'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE JESUS CAME
'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house,
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care,
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap,
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!
The light of His face made me cover my head.
It was Jesus! Returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which He held in His hand,
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said "It's not here!" my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written with love,
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound,
While all the rest were left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!
The authorship of this thought provoking little poem is disputed. Widely dispersed over the internet, it mostly occurs with the notation “Author Unknown”. The most legitimate claim for authorship, though, appears to come form a certain Rev. Edward M. Gionest, Sr. back in the 1970s.
If you desire, you can read an excellent article written by a lady named Debbie Christian on the investigation of the authorship of this poem at: http://www.examiner.com/tampa-christian-spirituality-in-tampa-bay/the-poem-twas-the-night-before-jesus-came.
Irrespective of the identity of the original author, the poem nonetheless accomplishes its purpose. It challenges one to consider the inextricable link between the first advent and the second advent of Jesus Christ. He came the first time in the meekest of conditions: as a helpless Babe in virtual obscurity. But, when He comes the second time, it will be as a conquering King in full view of the entire world. And whereas He came the first time in innocence and peace; He will come the second time in judgment and in wrath.
Few took note of His first appearance. Many today still choose to overlook its significance. None will miss His second appearance. And all will be held accountable at that time for their response to His first coming. I trust you will be prepared for that day when it does come. If not, why not consider this day the full implications of both His first and His second coming for your life? Once you have come to know the true joy of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I am certain you will be glad you did.
And you will experience Christmas this year in an entirely different way. For both the Scriptures and the Carols of this season will have meaning to you as they never have before. And you will find yourself longing for that glorious day in the future when He does return. As the hymn writer has so eloquently put it:
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.