‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (ACOP Adaptation)

T’was just days before Christmas and across the great globe,
ACOP members were stirring, with hearts all aglow.
The programs were finished, the services done,
The Season’d been hectic with holiday fun.

The pews were now empty, the people all fed
Via potlucks and parties—now just go to bed!
And as members all settled in beds snug and safe
Visions of hope and extensions of grace
Danced in their hearts like a flickering flame
That won’t be extinguished by questions or pain.

And just as their eyes closed tightly in slumber
A voice in their soul arose like great thunder
The voice of Wes Mills echoed sweetly in memory
That a life lived for Jesus was a life lived quite grandly
And that nothing shines brighter than a person aglow
With the Spirit of Jesus who fills a life full

Amid Mills’ reminders, even hearts that had shrunk
Began to expand and to pound—thunk, thunk, thunk!
Could it be that the future was as good as he said
Or had too much vision affected his head
But then memories of faithfulness began to resound
To each one who lay there staring around
How Jesus had walked with them ev-ery day
Through thick and through thin and the miry clay
Perhaps Wes was right, that the days up ahead
Would be flavoured with love and with peace and no dread!

Now some say their hearts grew three sizes that night
It worked for the grinch and the children of light
And hope that had shrunk by COVID confusion
Began to revive with Spirit-infusion
The Good News of Jesus resounded in hearts
And worship and love songs began with a start
And from ACOP bedrooms around the whole world
Eyes focused on Jesus and prayers were unfurled

So forward and onward, from West to the East
All people, all nations, the rich and the least
Closed nations and hamlets and cities, all places
We arise from our slumber in new-found amazement
That the dear Son of God would be born in a manger
Lion and Lamb, our Friend and our Saviour.

Now Santa called reindeer, “on Donnor, on Blitzen”
But Jesus calls people, “On Connor, on Gretchen,
On Jordan, on Wes and on Verner and Rod
On Trevor and Cal and leaders abroad
And to ACOP family wherever you are
Stay focused on Jesus – and Merry Christmas to all!

—Written by Rev. Rod Barks; December 2022