First Christmas in Heaven
One of the most treasured memories of my pastor-father (Who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this month, were he still with us.) took place annually on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year. Following the sermon and prior to the closing prayer, he would always speak to those who had lost loved ones in the past year, then he would read the following poem. He never read it without his voice cracking with emotion. Having experienced the untimely death of my younger brother, Bob, in the past year, I searched for the poem to read it again. I found several versions of the poem and the author seems to be anonymous. Here’s the way I remember it being read. If you have lost a loved one in the past year, I share this poem with you today.
MY FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN!
I’ve had my first Christmas in Heaven,
A glorious, wonderful day.
I stood with the saints of the ages
Who found Christ, the Truth and the Way.
I sang with the heavenly choir,
Just think, I who longed so to sing
And, oh, what celestial music
We brought to our Savior and King!
We sang the glad songs of redemption,
How Jesus to Bethlehem came.
And how they called His name — Jesus —
That all might be saved through His Name.
We sang once again with the angels
The song they sang that blest morn,
When shepherds first heard the glad story,
That Jesus, the Savior, was born.
Oh, loved ones, I wish you had been here!
No Christmas on earth could compare
With all of the rapture and glory
We witnessed in Heaven so fair.
You know how I always loved Christmas.
It seemed such a wonderful day,
With all of my loved ones around me
The children so happy that day.
Yes, now I can see why I loved it,
And, oh, what a joy it will be
When all of my loved ones are with me
To share in the glories I see.
So, dear ones on earth, here’s my greeting.
Look up till the day dawn appears.
Oh, what a Christmas awaits us
Beyond all our parting tears!
“In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11)