Keep the Christ
In Christmas, defend your right
to brashly bray
Your bumper-sticker beliefs.
Keep the baby in the manger.
Keep everything haloed, saran-wrapped, and safe.
Put on a brief bravado flag-wave of witness
Prove to others you're pious.
Keep the Christ
Out of your culture wars,
He doesn't care.
It's inane and tragic
that we've lost connection, listening,
understanding, to the point
We argue over whether we can speak our minds.
I say Merry Christmas,
if my friend misunderstands, I will apologize;
We will share a simple grace.
Other days, although Christ is just as imminent
I'll just say "have a good day."
Keep the Christ confined to
Keep the bastard "sell your stuff" "love your neighbors"
Jewish rabbi trashing display tables,
Far away from the bulletin board pageant festivals.
He'll probably complain about the music,
Ask uncomfortable questions,
And peep his little bald head into the middle of our horseshit,
Tell us to repent.
My heart aches for the homeless, the lonely,
the hopeless, the fatherless who, once caroled heavily,
Never see us again. But keep singing.
Presents, lights, carols, fire,
Wrappings, trappings, cookies, wires,
Readings, singing, giving, praying,
Sharing, family, hugs, and feasts,
Hospitality, despite our gluttonies,
I think we need more of all these things.
So don't let anyone dissuade you from taking part
If you're not feeling this Jesus thing.
For me, I try
To believe, I try
To keep room in the inn, make the bed, stay up, stoke the coals,
Today, the day
Of His coming,
Of the wrecking,
My love's coming back,
The day God comes down
And we wait, we hope; we are terrified he might
Meet us, or ask us why we
Haven't changed, stuck in the garden,
Hiding behind hymnbooks and clichés.