"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God... and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth," the Bible says.
That is the mystifying core of Christmas, an awesome concept that has challenged hearts and minds since. It holds that Jesus was truly human, sharing the nature of all people, yet also truly God. "Emmanuel -- God with us," Scripture says, "The light of the world."
WHAT ELSE DOES CHRISTMAS MEAN?
C is for Christ who came as a babe...living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away, rising He justified freely forever ... One day he's coming, Oh glorious day!
H is for hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time (Titus 1:2)
R is for righteousness that has been revealed by God, that is by faith from first to last. (Romans 1:17)
I is for Immanuel (God with us-John 1)
S is for shepherds of whom Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd...the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. (Psalm 23)
T is for the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in Christ. (Colossians 2:3)
M is for magi who came to worship Jesus for He is truly worthy. (Matthew 2)
A is for angels who sang, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." (Luke 2:14)
S is for the star that led to the bright Morning Star...Jesus Himself. (Revelation 22:16)
"I have this running quandary about Christmas. I get upset about it, because I feel that we American Christians make too much of it, and too little. Too little of it, because we pile all sorts of other things onto it, including some that have only the feeblest connection with the Event it is supposed to commemorate. If God did become a man, in any real sense, it is the most important thing that ever happened. Surely we, who believe it, could well devote one day a year to uninterrupted contemplation of the fact, and let Saturnalia fall on the winter solstice, where it belongs.
"On the other hand, we make so much of the actual birth, and forget the things that make it more than just the birth of a baby (though even that is, in Walt Whitman's phrase, "miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels") -- more, even, than the birth of the greatest man who ever lived. We forget the promise to Eve of a descendant who will solve the problem of Evil; the promise to Abraham of one by whom all mankind will be blessed; the promise to Moses of a greater prophet than he, to arise from his people; and the promise to David of a Son who would be his Master. We forget about the eternal Purpose behind it all: it's like telling a story and leaving out the point. Yes, it is true that God gave us His Son, and so maybe we ought also to give gifts -- but what, and to whom? It is also true that God gave us Himself, and the only sensible response to that is to give ourselves to Him. There is nothing else that He wants from us, or, if there is something, He can take it. Only I, my ego, my heart, is truly mine to give or to withhold -- and is therefore the appropriate gift to Him."
-Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985) from a letter in 1982
The ornaments upon our tree
Have secrets of their own,
Of other trees and Christmases
That each of them have known.
The chipped ones hung upon our trees
Before the children came;
The elves were bought for our first son
Who gave them each a name;
Our daughter made the paper rings
When she was only three;
And we all picked out the angel
That crowns our Christmas tree.
They're all different shapes and colors,
But we know and love them all.
And if they could only speak,
What joys they could recall.
-By Kay Andrew
Snowbird high among the branches
You are blessedly content,
With your glistening feathers shining,
Like a Christmas ornament.
Chirping out the season's greetings,
Every note in sweet accord,
Small, bright-eyed ambassador,
Belonging to the Lord.
Snowflakes fall in gay abandon,
As you spread your wings in flight,
Will you journey through the heavens,
Over Bethlehem tonight?
Will you hear the angels singing,
As the shepherds kneel to pray?
Will you nestle in the warm hand,
Of the Manger Child today?
Snowbird ever rising higher,
As I strain my eyes to see,
One last flash of wing, and vainly
Wish that I might follow thee.
But man's feet were made for walking,
Past the darkness to the light,
Still I think our destinations
Must remain the same. . . tonight.
-By Grace E. Easley
hope - peace
faith - grace
honor - purity
courage - loyalty
goodness - prudence
sympathy - humility
fortitude - temperance
brotherhood - cooperation
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
The History of Christmas
How did December 25 gain its Christian emphasis? Evidently, sometime during the early fourth century, Christians began searching for the proper day to celebrate Christ's birth. Some churches had been celebrating Jesus' birth on January 6, others April 20, May 20, March 29, and September 29. Finally so much confusion reigned that Saint Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, about the middle of the fourth century, inquired of the Roman bishop, Julius, regarding the correct date. Julius wrote Cyril and reported that he personally favored December 25. Obviously refusing to accept this date as valid, Cyril and the Jerusalem church continued celebrating the event for many years on January 6. In A.D. 354, two years following the end of Saint Julius' reign, the new Roman bishop, Liberius, ordered all his people to celebrate December 25 as the correct day of Christ's birth. With the passage of time this date became the more popular and was soon adopted by most of Western Christendom.
Christmas is primarily about the Incarnation. As Martin Luther said, "The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding."
Christmas in Public schools
"To avoid offending anybody, the school dropped religion altogether and started singing about the weather. At my son's school, they now hold the winter program in February and sing increasingly non-memorable songs such as "Winter Wonderland," "Frosty the Snowman" and--this is a real song--"Suzy Snowflake," all of which is pretty funny because we live in Miami. A visitor from another planet would assume that the children belonged to the Church of Meteorology." -Dave Barry
"To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year." -E. B. White, The Second Tree from the Corner.
Our greatest need? If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. -Source Unknown.
The Origin of the word "Christmas"? In the medieval ages the celebration of Christmas took the form of a special mass said at midnight on the eve of Christ's birth. Since this was the only time in the Catholic church year when a midnight mass was allowed, it soon became known in the Old English as Christes Masse (Christ's Mass), from which is derived "Christmas".
Mary, Mother of Jesus
A capable journalist-author named Jim Bishop wrote a fairly reliable analysis of Jesus' birth in his book, The Day Christ Was Born. His description of Mary, the young mother-to-be, bears repeating:
She no longer noticed the chafe of the goatskin against her leg, nor the sway of the food bag on the other side of the animal. Her veiled head hung and she saw millions of pebbles on the road moving by her brown eyes in a blur, pausing, and moving by again with each step of the animal.
Sometimes she felt ill at ease and fatigued, but she swallowed this feeling and concentrated on what a beautiful baby she was about to have and kept thinking about it, the bathing, the oils, the feeding, the tender pressing of the tiny body against her breast -- and the sickness went away. Sometimes she murmured the ancient prayers and, for the moment, there was no road and no pebbles and she dwelt on the wonder of God and saw Him in a fleecy cloud at a windowless wall of an inn or a hummock of trees, walking backward in front of her husband,
beckoning him on. God was everywhere. It gave Mary confidence to know that He was everywhere. She needed confidence. Mary was fifteen.
Most young ladies of the country were betrothed at thirteen and married at fourteen. A few were not joined in holiness until fifteen or sixteen and these seldom found a choice man and were content to be shepherds' wives, living in caves in the sides of the hills, raising their children in loneliness, knowing only the great stars of the night lifting over hills, and the whistle of the shepherd as he turned to lead his flock to a new pasture. Mary had married a carpenter. He had been apprenticed by his father at bar mitzvah. Now he was nineteen and had his own business. -from Growing Deep in the Christian Life, p. 125.
Hymn Story - I Heard the Bells
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of a family member in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out that same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to hear the his own son had been seriously wounded as a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac.
Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing, and ringing. It was in this setting he wrote:
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.
At this Christmas time whether you are in sorrow or in joy you can know that God is not dead, not doth he sleep. He knows your every need and longs to comfort you and be that special friend you need. Seek Him this year instead of the outward manifestations of the season. He will give life real meaning and your heart real peace, the peace that passes all understanding.
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.
My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song,
Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given
While angels sing with pious mirth.
A glad new year to all the earth.
that man was
made like God before,
But that God should
be like man
Praise Him for the Incarnation
Praise Him for the incarnation,
for the word made flesh.
I will not sing of shepherds
watching flocks on frosty nights,
or angel choristers.
I will not sing of a stable bare in Bethlehem,
or lowing oxen,
wise men trailing star with gold,
frankincense, and myrrh.
Tonight I will sing praise to the Father
who stood on heaven's threshold
and said farewell to his Son
as he stepped across the stars
to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
And I will sing praise to the infinite, eternal Son,
who became most finite, a baby
who would one day be executed for my crime.
Praise him in the heavens,
Praise him in the stable,
Praise him in my heart.
CAN THIS BE CHRISTMAS?
What's all this hectic rush and worry?
Where go these crowds who run and scurry?
Why all the lights -- the Christmas trees?
The jolly "fat man," tell me please!
Why, don't you know? This is the day
For parties and for fun and play;
Why this is Christmas!
So this is Christmas, do you say?
But where is Christ this Christmas day?
Has He been lost among the throng?
His voice drowned out by empty song?
No. He's not here -- you'll find Him where
Some humble soul now kneels in prayer,
Who knows the Christ of Christmas.
But see the many aimless thousands
Who gather on this Christmas Day,
Whose hearts have never yet been opened,
Or said to Him, "Come in to stay."
In countless homes the candles burning,
In countless hearts expectant yearning
For gifts and presents, food and fun,
And laughter till the day is done.
But not a tear of grief or sorrow
For Him so poor He had to borrow
A crib, a colt, a boat, a bed
Where He could lay His weary head.
I'm tired of all this empty celebration,
Of feasting, drinking, recreation;
I'll go instead to Calvary.
And there I'll kneel with those who know
The meaning of that manger low,
And find the Christ -- this Christmas.
I leap by faith across the years
To that great day when He appears
The second time, to rule and reign,
To end all sorrow, death, and pain.
In endless bliss we then shall dwell
With Him who saved our souls from hell,
And worship Christ -- not Christmas!
-M. R. DeHaan, M.D.
The Unspeakable Gift
Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler. One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left.
Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, "I am your king!" The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn't. Instead he said, "You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the coarse food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!"
The King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave himself to you and me. The Bible calls Him, "the unspeakable gift!"
The "Fear Nots" of Christmas
In the Christmas narratives, there are several "fear not's.":
1. The "fear not" of salvation: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings...which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11).
2. The "fear not" of the humanly impossible: "Fear not, Mary:... the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:...For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:30, 35, 37).
3. The "fear not" of unanswered prayer: "Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John" (Luke 1:13).
4. The "fear not" of immediate obedience: "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife :.. Then Joseph ... did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him" (Matthew 1:20,24).
No Vacancy Still
Those words, "There was no room for them in the inn," remind me of an experience my family had several years ago. We had been traveling all day, and I was trying to find a motel where we could spend the night. It was getting late, and the children were tired and fidgety. As we drove along the highway, our hopes were dashed time and again by the sight of NO VACANCY signs. As a father, responsible for the well- being of my family, I was frustrated and discouraged. But then I thought of Mary and Joseph. How much worse it must have been when they arrived in Bethlehem and found no rooms available! I can imagine Joseph pleading with the manager of the inn, telling him of Mary's condition and their desperate need for a suitable place where she could give birth to her child. Luke tells us that "there was no room for them in the inn," and that when Mary gave birth to Jesus she "wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger."
Today, nearly 20 centuries later, millions of people have no room for Jesus. Although they participate enthusiastically in the festivities of the Christmas season, they keep Him out of their lives. The "No Vacancy" sign is there. .
The Real Picture
During the long war years a boy looked frequently at a picture of his daddy on the table. He had left when the boy was a young infant. After several years the boy had forgotten him as a person but he would often look at the picture and say, "If only my father could step out of that picture and be real...."
Christmas means that in a sad day of sin when man had almost forgotten God, He stepped into the world in the form of His Son.
Christmas Gift Revelation
In his book Dare to Believe, Dan Baumann illustrates the unique experience of knowing that something is ours, yet longing to enjoy it more fully. He explained that at Christmas time he would always do a lot of snooping, trying to find the gift --wrapped presents and figure out what was in them.
One year he discovered a package with his name on it that was easy to identify. There was no way to disguise the golf clubs inside. Baumann then made this observation: "When Mom wasn't around, I would go and feel the package, shake it, and pretend that I was on the golf course. The point is, I was already enjoying the pleasures of a future event; namely, the unveiling. It had my name on it. I knew what it was." But only "Christmas would reveal it in its fullness."
The glories that await the Christian defy our comprehension. What we can grasp about them, however, fills us with great anticipation. We look longingly to that day when we shall enjoy heaven in all its fullness.
God promises a new covenant to Israel
- Jeremiah 31:31-34
- Hebrews 8:1-13, 9:11-22, 10:4-24
- Matthew 26:17-29
- Luke 22:7-20
- I Corinthians 11:23-26
- Ephesians 1:7
Messiah to be born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2
- Matthew 2:1-6
- Luke 2:1-20
Messiah to be born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14
- Matthew 1:18-25
- Luke 1:26-38
Out of Egypt I called my Son: Hosea 11:1
- Matthew 2:15
God shall give His angels charge over Him: Psalm 91:11, 12
- Matthew 4:6
- Luke 4:11
Messiah to be a prophet like unto Moses: Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19
- John 7:14-19, 40-46
- Acts 3:22-26
Messiah to enter Jerusalem in triumph: Zechariah 9:9
- Matthew 21:1-9
- John 12:12-16
Messiah to be rejected by his own people: Isaiah 53:1,3; Psalm 118:22
- John 1:11, 12 and 12:37-43
- Matthew 26:3, 4
Messiah to be betrayed by one of His followers: Psalm 41:9
- Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50
- Mark 14:17-21
- Luke 22:19-23
- John 13:18, 19
Messiah to be tried and condemned: Isaiah 53:8
- Matthew 27:1,2
- Luke 23:1-25
Messiah to be silent before His accusers: Isaiah 53:7
- Matthew 27:12-14
- Mark15:3, 4
- Luke 23:8-10
Thirty pieces of silver: Zechariah 11:12
- Matthew 26:15
Look on Me whom they have pierced: Zechariah 12:10
- John 19:37
- Revelation 1:7
Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered: Zechariah 13:7
- Matthew 26:31
- Mark 14:27
Messiah to be struck & spat upon by his enemies: Micah 5:1; Isaiah 50:6
- Matthew 26:67 and 27:30
- Mark 14:65 and 15:19
- Luke 22:63, 64
- John 19:1-3
Messiah to be mocked and taunted: Psalm 22:7, 8
- Matthew 27:39-43
- Luke 23:11, 35
Messiah to die by crucifixion: Psalm 22:14, 16, 17
- Matthew 27:31
- Mark 15:20, 25
- John 19:15-18
Messiah to suffer with transgressors & pray for his enemies: Isaiah 53:12
- Matthew 27:38
- Mark 15:27, 28
- Luke 23:32-34
Messiah to be given vinegar and gall: Psalm 69:21
- Matthew 27:34
- John 19:28-30
Lots to be cast for Messiah's garments: Psalm 22:18
- Matthew 27:35
- Mark 15:24
- John 19:23, 24
Messiah's bones not to be broken: Numbers 9:12; Exodus 12:46
- John 19:31-36)
Messiah to die as a sacrifice for sin: Isaiah 53:5, 6, 8, 10-12
- John 1:29 and 11:49-52
- Acts 10:43 and 13:38, 39
- I Corinthians 15:3
- Ephesians 1:7
- I Peter 2:24, 25
- I John 1:7, 9
Messiah to be raised from the dead: Psalm 16:10
- Acts 2:22-32
- Matthew 28:1-10
- Mark 16:1-8
- Luke 24:1-9, 44-48
- John 20:1-31
- I Corinthians 15:4-8
Messiah to be at God's right hand: Psalm 110:1
- Mark 16:19
- Luke 24:50, 51
- Acts 2:33-36
- Hebrews 10:12, 13
Until Shiloh comes: Genesis 49:9, 10
- Hebrews 7:14
- Revelation 5:5
The nations for an inheritance: Psalm 2:1, 2, 7-9, 12
- John 20:31
- Acts 4:25, 26 and 9:20 and 13:33
- Hebrews 1:5 and 5:5
- Revelation 2:27 and 12:5
God will not allow His Holy One to see corruption: Psalm 16:8-11
- Mark 16:6
- Luke 18:33 and 24:7
- John 2:22 and 20:9
- Acts 2:28 and 13:35
- I Corinthians 15:4; II Timothy 2:8
To ascend on high & lead captivity captive: Psalm 68:18
- Ephesians 4:8
Must still restore though hated without cause: Psalm 69:4, 9
- John 2:17 and 15:25
- Romans 15:3
I have made a covenant with my Chosen: Psalm 89:3, 4, 35-36
- Acts 2:30
A priest forever according to order of Melchizidek: Psalm 110:4
- Hebrews 5:6 and 6:20 and 7:21
He shall be their Shepherd: Ezekiel 34:23
- John 10:16
A new heart and a new spirit within you: Ezekiel 36:25-27
- John 3:5
I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh: Joel 2:28-32
- Acts 2:16-21
- Romans 10:13
- Revelation 6:17
Three days and three nights: Jonah 1:17
- Matthew 12:40
- Luke 11:29
I will work a work in your days: Habbakuk 1:5
- Acts 13:41
The vision is yet for an appointed time: Habbakuk 2:3, 4
- Romans 1:17
- Galatians 3:11
- Hebrews 10:37-38
Portrait of the Messiah
- Isaiah 53:1-12
"The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."
- Isaiah 40:8
Written by Charlene Fairchild, copyright 1996
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings with toys at Christmastime. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? -G. K. Chesterion
For several years adman Hugh Quinn has solved his Christmas-greeting problem with this notice in the Detroit Free Press: I will not be responsible for anyone who does not have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Hugh Quinn, Detroit Free Press
The Christmas Card
About 95% of American families exchange Christmas cards?usually 60 to 70 cards per family. A staggering four billion cards are mailed during Christmas. How did all these get started?
Museum director Henry Cole during the mid-19th century used to write short notes to his friends at Christmas, wishing them a joyful holiday season. In 1843, he had no time to write and asked his artist friend John Horsely to design a printed greeting card. Inadvertently, he had invented the Christmas card.
And the President of the United States sends over 40,000 of these greetings yearly, probably having the longest Christmas card list in the country.
Long Walk Included
One of my favorite stories is about a missionary teaching in Africa. Before Christmas, he had been telling his native students how Christians, as an expression of their joy, gave each other presents on Christ's birthday.
On Christmas morning, one of the natives brought the missionary a seashell of lustrous beauty. When asked where he had discovered such an extraordinary shell, the native said he had walked many miles to a certain bay, the only spot where such shells could be found.
I think it was wonderful of you to travel so far to get this lovely gift for me, the teacher exclaimed.
His eyes brightening, the native replied, Long walk, part of gift. -Gerald H. Bath
Hymn Christians Awake
'What would you like for a Christmas present?' To any young girl such a question would evoke delighted visions of long-wished-for possessions, but to Dolly the answer to her father, John Byron, was, Please write me a poem.? So on Christmas morning in 1749, Dolly found on her plate at breakfast a piece of paper on which was written a hymn entitled, Christmas day, for Dolly.
Soon after, John Wainwright the organist of Manchester Parish Church wrote a tune for it. On the following Christmas morning, Byron and Dolly were awakened by the sound of singing below their windows. It was Wainwright with his choir singing Dolly's hymn-
Christians, awake, salute the happy morn,
Where-on the Savior of the world was born;
Rise to adore the mystery of love,
Which hosts of angels chanted from above;
With them the joyful tiding first begun
Of God incarnate and the Virgin's Son.
Hymn Story- Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us
One Christmas Eve, Ira D. Sankey was traveling by steamboat up the Delaware River. Asked to sing, Mr. Sankey sang the 'Shepherd Song.' After the song was ended, a man with a rough, weather-beaten face came up to Mr. Sankey and said: 'Did you ever serve in the Union Army?' 'Yes, answered Mr. Sankey, 'in the spring of 1860.' 'Can you remember if you were doing picket duty on a bright, moonlit night in 1862' 'Yes,' answered Mr. Sankey, very much surprised.
'So did I,' said the stranger, 'but I was serving in the Confederate army. When I saw you standing at your post I said to myself: 'That fellow will never get away from here alive.' I raised my musket and took aim. I was standing in the shadow completely concealed, while the full light of the moon was falling upon you. At that instant, just as a moment ago, you raised your eyes to heaven and began to sing. Music, especially song, has always had a wonderful power over me, and I took my finger off the trigger. 'Let him sing his song to the end,' I said to myself. 'I can shoot him afterwards. He's my victim at all events, and my bullet cannot miss him.' But the song you sang then was the song you sang just now. I heard the words perfectly:
We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,
Be the guardian of our way.
Those words stirred up many memories in my heart. I began to think of my childhood and my God fearing mother. She had many, many times sung that song to me. But she died all too soon, otherwise much in my life would no doubt have been different. When you had finished your song it was impossible for me to take aim at you again. I thought: 'The Lord who is able to save that man from certain death must surely be great and mighty' and my arm of its own accord dropped limp at my side.' -Religious Digest
Hymn Story, I Would Be True
From Princeton University there graduated in 1905 a young man by the name of Howard Walter. Because of his sunny smile he was wanted where there was fun; because of his keen mind he was sought for when counsel was needed; because of his consecration to Christ, he was a blessing to all. Through college and seminary he went and then chose the foreign field as his life service. He went to India and entered into work among the students of the great educational center of the Punjab, Lahore.
One Christmas, out of his own heart and life he wrote his mother a poem. And she, recognizing the beauty of the message, sent it to Harper's Magazine. It was his Christmas greeting to her. In 1919, when the influenza was raging in India, he was one of the victims; but he still lives in this beautiful Christmas poem dedicated to his mother. His influence is still felt in India. The verse has been set to music by Joseph Yates Peek.
I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care,
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend to all the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving, and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.
The above has been shared by permission.