By Eddie Pipkin

Last Christmas season, way back in December of 2019 when life was whimsical and visions of ministry sugar plums danced in our unsuspecting heads, I wrote a paraphrase of Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (popularly known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”), modified as a celebration of your hard work in ministry.  This year, as we wish you the merriest Christmas under the current circumstances and a few days of well-deserved rest, I’ve revised that creative endeavor – call it a pandemic-inspired paraphrase of a paraphrase – and stuffed it in your email stocking as our humble Christmas gift to you.  God bless us all, each and every one.

First of all, a link to last year’s award-winning, exhilarating opus.  (Okay, I made up the award-winning part, and the ‘exhilarating’ part really only applies to a couple of my old friends who are still consistently amazed that I can string two words coherently together, but the link will give you some context for reading this year’s submission.)

And here, friends, is the worldwide premier of this year’s submission, the pandemically paraphrased, “Night Before”:

Twas the night before Christmas,

and all through the church house,

we were ”over” 2020,

yep, even the mouse.


The preacher was ‘Zoomed’ out,

virtually depleted.

her laptop unplugged,

her last Livestream completed.


The hand sanitizers

long empty had been.

disposable mask boxes

all now picked clean.


The kids’ Christmas pageant

from home had been seen,

each shepherd and wise man

in a box on a screen.


The Christmas Eve service

had happened, but different.

Each person’s face covered

and socially distant.


No singing aloud,

but with Christ in their hearts,

they swayed with their candles,

each six feet apart.


True, some people were stranded

at home, isolated.

So new ways of sharing

God’s love were created.


Through texting and FaceTime

and yelling ‘cross yards,

we kept up connections,

even though it was hard.


Like the Whos down in Whoville,

whose tradition was changed,

Covid didn’t stop Christmas,

It came just the same.


The Babe in the manger

Is relevant still,

each home to bring hope

And each heart there to fill.


Angels still sing

And wise men still seek.

And ministry matters,

When the news feed is bleak.


So celebrate gladly.

You’ve served the Lord well.

You’ve all been a blessing.

Your hearts should be swelled.


And you all should be resting,

your heads full of dreams

of a blessing-filled new year

and a speedy vaccine.


Rest and blessings to you all.  And if the verses above were not laugh enough, check out this link at the Product Hunt Website, “Don’t Get This for Xmas.”

Merry Christmas!