The Glad Evangel



When the Child of Nazareth was born, the sun, according to the Bosnian

legend, leaped in the heavens, and the stars around it danced. A peace

came over mountain and forest. Even the rotten stump stood straight and

healthy on the green hill-side. The grass was beflowered with open

blossoms, incense sweet as myrrh pervaded upland and forest, birds sang

on the mountain top, and all gave t
anks to the great God.

It is naught but an old folk-tale, but it has truth hidden at its heart,

for a strange, subtle force, a spirit of genial good-will, a new-born

kindness, seem to animate child and man alike when the world pays its

tribute to the heaven-sent youngling, as the poet Drummond calls the

infant Christ.

When the Three Wise Men rode from the East into the West on that first,

best Christmas night, they bore on their saddle-bows three caskets

filled with gold and frankincense and myrrh, to be laid at the feet of

the manger-cradled babe of Bethlehem. Beginning with this old, old

journey, the spirit of giving crept into the world's heart. As the Magi

came bearing gifts, so do we also; gifts that relieve want, gifts that

are sweet and fragrant with friendship, gifts that breathe love, gifts

that mean service, gifts inspired still by the star that shone over the

City of David nearly two thousand years ago.

Then hang the green coronet of the Christmas-tree with glittering

baubles and jewels of flame; heap offerings on its emerald branches;

bring the Yule log to the firing; deck the house with holly and


And all the bells on earth shall ring

On Christmas day in the morning.