Adapted for the BSCM Staff Christmas Dinner
Twas the week before Christmas,
when all through the place, everyone was stirring,
Art Werry synching calendars with haste.
The glow of cell phones reflected on everyone’s face,
in hopes that Tim Patterson would call with words full of grace.
No one was nestled snug in their beds,
because visions of increased baptisms danced in their heads;
Jamie Lynn was sending out emails with many a keyboard peck,
and Andrew Parsons was cashing every single CP check.
Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
because Mick Schatz, wearing new tennis shoes, was dancing like a mad-hatter.
Lori Stewart was paying bills in a flash,
while Nancy Spears measured a window and sewed-up a colorful sash.
Bob Kiger was winterizing trailers on the breast of the new-fallen snow
while chilly Judy Roy installed insulation under the trailers from below.
When, what to our groggy eyes should appear,
but Sue Hodnett arriving with her latest kill, a bloody, ten-point deer.
Slowly someone appeared in the office door not too lively, nor quick,
We knew in a moment it was Tim Patterson enjoying a peppermint stick.
Walking with Starbuck’s coffee, in-hand, into the office he came,
Tim Patterson whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
Now Mike Durbin! Now Tony Lynn! Now church strengthener and church starter!
Onto more churches! Onto stronger churches! Let’s work harder and harder!
To the top of our goals! To the top of our reach!
Anyone who isn’t praying is lower than a leech!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So down to the conference room everyone flew,
With hearts full of hope, and Tim Patterson, too.
And then, for an hour, everyone heard in the room
The prayers and petitions of the church-bride to the groom.
Requests were made as everyone took turns in a round,
Anticipation grew as each awaited a divine answer to land with a miraculous bound.
Everyone on their knees, there were tears on each face,
They pleaded and prayed with urgency and haste;
Everyone could feel the Holy Spirit in the midst of the room,
One by one they peaked to see what was happening when they felt the Spirit land with a boom.
Tim jumped to his feet! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his voice was airy!
His big gleaming smile was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was salt and pepper like a one-week snow.
Tim said, “Five hundred churches by 2025 is within our reach,”
a soft glow encircled him as he said, “Forgive me, I’ve got to preach!”
He spoke from Scripture carefully laying out every single word,
wanting to make certain God’s plan was easily heard.
Afterwards, each person giggled and squirmed with excitement like a cheery young elf,
Jamie made phone calls offering Christmas wishes to everyone on the list she kept on the shelf.
Mike, doing the same, in his office inserted earbuds on each side of his head,
Nancy, on the other hand, with love in her heart baked and wrapped gluten-free bread.
Art repaired and reworked a computer for a pastor in need of love and a friend,
Sue reached out to the women expressing her thanks letting them know their impact has no end.
Andrew, before closing down his computer, responded to every single question and need,
Lori, wanting everything to move smoothly during Christmas break, made certain every bill was paid with the fastest of speed.
Bob stepped into his truck to deliver some love and honked the horn that sounded like a whistle,
Judy, now that her service here was completed, gently made her way out to serve others that night like the down of a thistle.
Mick and everyone else paused as Tim and Sabrina drove out of sight
and heard them say, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Originally written by Clement Clark Moore and first published on December 23, 1823
Adapted by Tony Lynn on December 7, 2019