Thursday, December 20, 2012

Song: Give us this year an adult Christmas


Give us, this year, an adult Christmas,
since among adults first you came,
not in a creche or kindergarten
you showed your face and learned your name.
Then help our adult lives attest
that childlike trust you rekoned best.

Give us, this year, a worldly Christmas,
since it was to this world you came.
Sent to redeem all worldly matter
while structured in a human frame.
Then for creation let us share
your kindly gaze, your constant care.

Give us, this year, a peaceful Christmas,
since as the Prince of Peace you came.
Still jealous Herods call for slaughter,
still Caesars play their power game.
When will earthly politics portray
peace is no prize: peace is the way?

And give us time for you this Christmas,
since into time for us you came,
bringing the voice that forged creation
where it might gently say your name.
Then let our hearts rejoice and sing,
"Glory to God for everything!"

4 comments:

  1. Good song. It is too bad that Christmas has been commercialized and infantilized until it is meaningless for many people. I just heard an old Jackson Browne song that always gives me a much needed kick in the seat of the pants:
    The Rebel Jesus

    All the streets are filled with laughter and light
    And the music of the season
    And the merchants' windows are all bright
    With the faces of the children
    And the families hurrying to their homes
    While the sky darkens and freezes
    Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
    Giving thanks for God's graces
    And the birth of the rebel Jesus.

    Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
    And they call him by 'the Savior'
    And they pray to him upon the seas
    And in every bold endeavor
    And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
    As their faith in him increases
    But they've turned the nature that I worship in
    From a temple to a robber's den
    In the words of the rebel Jesus.

    Well we guard our world with locks and guns
    And we guard our fine possessions
    And once a year when Christmas comes
    We give to our relations
    And perhaps we give a little to the poor
    If the generosity should seize us,
    But if any one of us should interfere
    In the business of why there are poor
    They get the same as the rebel Jesus.

    Now pardon me if I have seemed
    To take the tone of judgement
    For I've no wish to come between
    This day and your enjoyment.
    In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
    There's a need for anything that frees us
    So I bid you pleasure
    And I bid you cheer
    From a heathen and a pagan
    On the side of the rebel Jesus.

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    Replies
    1. This is a new song to me. I'll have to listent to it on Youtube. Good lyrics!

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    2. The version I have is by The Chieftans. You can get an MP3 free download at
      http://www.geniusmp3.com/download/The+Chieftains/The+Rebel+Jesus/

      I didn't originally realize it was by Jackson Browne. It sounded like something the Irish would have composed. I especially like the phrase about how if you question why there are poor people, you'll "get the same as the rebel Jesus." So very true, so very wrong. Someone I know was basically thrown out of a grad school social work program at a prestigious institution for trying to rehabilitate a street person who had been a teacher but had a nervous breakdown after her divorce and ended up jobless and homeless. My friend tried to get her some counseling and worked with her on trying to get her teacher's license back so she could get a job, but the school had a fit and said that was not the point. The point, according to them, was to simply show her how to get food stamps and live peacefully at the women's shelter. Getting her back into the work force and trying to address her psycho-emotional issues was considered rocking the boat and disruptive to The System, which of course knew best. This is a benign example. In other settings, people who begin to question systems that crush down certain elements of society end up getting "disappeared" or at least beaten and tortured. I know many a "heathen and pagan" who are much more active "on the side of the rebel Jesus" than others who say to Him "Lord, Lord" but continue to kiss up to the rich and tread on the poor or ostracize the different. I hope they receive a good welcome from Him Whom they may never have formally known but unwittingly served when they defended and helped the poor.

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    3. I'll download it as I enjoy the Chieftains. Discernment, especially in ministry, is important. We often don't know what to do, but the best is to pray for people and give them freedom to make their own decisions. We can be a friend on the journey for them as our greatest gift. We are called to examine our own areas of sinfulness and our participation in systemic sin. We always have to see the Lord's help in know what to do when. It is constant discernment.

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