Clement Clark Moore is the author of the famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," which most of us know by its first line, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." These words, first published in 1823, did a lot to cement in the American mind the traditional view of Christmas that exists today: a jolly Santa Claus delivering gifts from house to house on Christmas Eve. I grew up loving this poem and this idea.
When I became a Christian 24 years ago I finally understood Christmas. Moore's poem is light and playful but it has nothing to do with the Savior who entered this world in order to identify with a sinful humanity that he might one day die for sinners like us. One day, everyone will know who this Jesus we sing about on Christmas really is (Phil 2:10-11). In the meantime, we wait with eager anticipation for his glorious return.
Moore's poem is about the eve of Christ's birth. The following poem is about the eve of Christ's return.