A Christmas Poem in 4 Movements

Movement 1 – Gabriel before the Throne – An Imagined Conversation

Movement 2 – Gabriel and Zechariah – From Luke 1

Movement 3 – Gabriel and Mary – From Luke 1

Movement 4 – The Angel and the Shepherds – From Luke 2


Movement 1 – Gabriel before the Throne


1 Gabriel, I’ve summoned you

The time at last has come

To send among the fallen

My dear beloved Son


2 My Lord and God I pray Thee

Of course, I serve Your will

And yet I beg your patience

My wanting mind to fill


3 Why these, who barely notice you?

Who walk in sin and pride

Who speak your name in blasphemy

And cast your law aside


4 Nor do I wonder all alone

‘Tis all of Heaven’s host

We marvel why you love them so

When they despise you most


5 It grieves us so to see them

Their rampant godless ways

While you propose to send them Grace

Your Son Of highest praise


6 We fear the turn this path will take

We’ve watched them through our tears

Millennia of wickedness

No light in them appears


7 We fear they will not honor Him

Heav’ns sweetest, highest crown

Who holds in every angel’s heart

Love’s highest, best renown


8 We faint to think of parting from

His glory shining bright

And seeing Him descending

Into mankind’s blackest night


9 We beg you, spare us losing Him

We truly cannot bear

To have His light hid from our eyes

His presence not to share


10 And there the mighty angel knelt

And wept, before the throne

Who from his own creation

Triune light had only known


11 Gabriel, My messenger

My wisdom you know well

You’ve served Me and been faithful

And stood when others fell


12 My Son, you know, is willing

He takes this task in love

They will not recognize Him

As sent from Heav’n above


13 In time, they will reject Him

Arrest and beat and bruise

They’ll mock and slap and slander

And dreadfully abuse


14 In unearned rage and hatred

They’ll crown His Head with thorns

Then nail and crucify Him

His body wracked and torn


15 He’ll die, as if a sinner

Though holiest of all

He’ll die in place of sinners

To save them from their Fall


16 For this is in our bosom

A love for those we made

Created in our image

Though fallen and depraved


17 Within our Triune wisdom

A mystery does abide

To pour out grace and mercy

In purchasing a Bride


18 Don’t faint my faithful angel

More glory yet, will shine

Redemption when completed

Will vindicate our mind


19 What you have never tasted

What only they can know

Grace to the undeserving

And mercy overflow


Movement 2 – Gabriel and Zechariah


1 An aged priest in Judah

The altar incense burned

Who with his wife was childless

Yet duty never spurned


2 By lot this priest was chosen

The incense, his to bring

To burn upon the altar

A holy, sacred thing


3 Outside the crowd stood praying

The Priest, his duty filled

When all at once in wonder

The air was strangely stilled


4 Beside him at the altar

God’s messenger appeared

The old Priest starting quaking

Amazed and full of fear


5 The angel spoke his message

Your long-prayed prayer is heard

And you dear Zechariah

Must hear this blessed Word


6 Elizabeth shall bear you

A son, you’ll name him John

From birth, full of the Spirit

He’ll mark Messiah’s dawn


7 The Priest was unbelieving

“I’m old”, as is my wife

Such things as you’re announcing

Can’t happen in my life


8 You’re old? – we’ll I, am Gabriel

I stand before the Lord

He sent me with this message

This boy will be your ward


9 But for your unbelieving

You’ll speak no word or sound

But on the day you hold him

Your tongue will be unbound


10 This John, just like Elijah

Will stir the hearts of men

To seek the God of Isr’el

And clear the path again


11 The mighty angel left him

His work not yet complete

For barely six months later

He’ll walk a Naz’reth street


12 The priest went home confounded

In silence and in awe

Till in God’s perfect season

John’s birth set free his jaw


13 You my child, the old Priest said

A prophet are to be

Preparing hearts of people

That Christ they might receive


14 Before the Lord Of glory

You’ll go to make the way

Announcing God’s forgiveness

Proclaiming Christ’s new day


15 Because Of God’s compassion

Dawn visits from on high

To shine on those in darkness

Our feet to peace He’ll guide


16 They’d never dreamed their sorrow

Had glory at its base

That they would be a symbol

Of overcoming grace


17 Thus in their years past bearing

Christ’s herald they would birth

Soon John would cry “Behold Him”

“The Lamb of God on earth!”


Movement 3 – Gabriel and Mary


1 In Nazareth secluded

A Virgin soon to wed

This lowly one named Mary

To her was Gabriel led


2 Appearing without warning

With greetings from God’s throne

He spoke of God’s great favor

A call for her – alone


3 The God of all Creation

Has sent me here to you

Your heart and mind preparing

What He’s about to do


4 Don’t be afraid dear Mary

This message strange to hear

You’ll be a virgin mother

Tho how – will be unclear


5 Amazed her heart was troubled

What can this greeting be?

Thus Gabriel responded

You’re favor – you must see


6 The way ahead’s not easy

You’ll bear shame unrestrained

So few will understand it

A myst’ry unexplained


7 (At first not even Joseph

Could grasp it or conceive

Without an angel’s visit

E’en he would not believe)


8 What wonder I’m announcing

The son of the Most High

The long foretold Messiah

Will in your bosom lie


9 He’ll rule o’er Israel’s Kingdom

His reign will have no end

The Son of God, most holy

The flock of God He’ll tend


10 But sir, in wide amazement

She asked, how will this be?

I’ve known no man in marriage

The means I cannot see


11 How Gabriel smiled at Mary

In gentleness spoke low

God’s Spirit will accomplish

What none can really know


12 By power none can fathom

Beyond the human mind

Creating life within you

The God/man all divine


13 And to confirm my message

That it might be believed

Elizabeth the barren

Though ag-ed, has conceived


14 God’s power is not lacking

All’s possible to Him

And though you are a Virgin

In you, life will begin


15 Submitting as a servant

To all that she had heard

She said, so let it be sir

According to Your word


16 Then rushing to the country

Elizabeth to see

She came into the house there

Amazed in Holy glee


17 Elizabeth exclaiming

For joy – how can it be?

You, the mother of my Lord

Have come to visit me


18 For when I heard your greeting

My baby stirred and leapt

For joy he could not help it

And I in gladness wept


19 Thus Mary broke out singing

To magnify her Lord

A hymn of praise and worship

For all He had outpoured


20 Returning home rejoicing

Soon after John was born

In faith she trusted fully

In Christ, would dawn God’s morn


Movement 4 – The Angel and the Shepherds


1 Upon a quiet hillside

Lay flocks of gentle sheep

As Shepherds lay their heads down

Day’s end would hasten sleep


2 No noble men among them

No poets, priests or kings

The humble and the lowly

Not giv’n to lofty things


3 Not privy to the wonders

Revealed to others, yet

No sense there was a Mary

Or aged Elizabeth


4 They’d heard no prophet’s voices

Nor Mary’s hymn of praise

They tended to their business

This one, like other days


5. There were no signs of warning

No omens in the sky

No great anticipation

To prompt a careful eye


6. Just humble, no-name shepherds

About their daily charge

Amid the bleating sheepfold

Glum duty to discharge


7. When in the sleepy silence

Broke blinding, dazzling light

The shock of God’s own glory

Brought terror at the sight


8. The angel – though astounding

Spoke quickly – do not fear!

I’ve come to bring you good news

For all the world to hear


9. Today, in David’s city

In humble Bethlehem

To you is born a Savior

What things he spoke to them!


10. Why say such things to shepherds

Whose word none would believe?

These are the least of all men

Who will their word receive?


11. And yet there in his glory

The angel spoke his word

Here, I give a sign to you

A pledge of what you’ve heard


12. In David’s town, a baby

Was born this very day

He’s lying in a manger

In swaddling cloths arrayed


13. And when the angel said this

The sky was filled with light

A great angelic army

Dispelled the dark of night


14. A martial choir of angels

With massive, deafn’ing sound

Began to sing God’s glory

And make His praise abound


15. God’s glory in the highest

And peace to you on earth

For it has pleased the Godhead

The Prince of Peace to birth


16. The Shepherds hastened quickly

To Bethlehem they ran

To find the Babe as told them

This Savior born to Man


17. They ran to find the family

To see what they’d been told

And told them of the angels

And why they left their fold


18. Then leaving, telling others

Like prophets they became

And all who heard them wondered

What news they did proclaim


19. Returning to the sheepfold

A choir now were they

In praises glorifying

What God had done that day


20. And while this first – God’s Christmas

Began, and now was done

The saving work of Jesus

Had only just begun















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