Cloudburst poem: Merry Christmas!

I’m getting all my holiday stuff done early this year.

So here’s my Christmas poem to you for this holiday season.

Subscribers of the Cloudburst Poetry list know I’m a Christian, so they may be puzzled why I don’t mention anything about faith or the birth of Christ.

Because I’m a Christian, and because the Bible says nothing about celebrating a day for Jesus’ birth, we in our home don’t mix the fun and goofy Santa stuff with the serious reverence we have for the Lord.

Somehow it doesn’t seem right to sing and talk about a children’s myth, however enjoyable it is, with the deepest truth of all. Rudolph followed by “Silent Night” just doesn’t get it for me.

Much of the religious celebration is shallow and gets the facts wrong.

Faith is much like the Christmas tree: there is a point beyond which it is over-decorated. Too many lights, too much of the silver stuff, balls crowding each other out.

Faith is not garish nor flashy. And God save us from the commercialism, which so many complain about while maxing out their credit cards. (Maybe the worst offenders are the loudest complainers?)

The beauty of Christ is not in Christmas. It’s in the simple faith of Christians who gather together weekly to eat a pared-down meal, to remember not a birth but a death, and to refill their lungs and steel their hearts for a week of service and singing the song of peace and good-will which are established through giving one’s life into the Lord’s hands.

We like Santa and his reindeer. We like Christmas. We disapprove of the Frankensteins who want to purge the season of any hint of religiosity, feeling with our Catholic and Protestant friends the pressure of the cultural war being waged against people who claim some type of Christian faith.

But the season doesn’t hold for us the spiritual content so many pour into it. As disciples who follow the New Testament of Christ, it seems this special observance detracts from Christianity more than it decorates it.

So here we come early, to wish you and yours a jolly, joyous, merry Christmas, with the laughter of family in your ears, children’s shouts bouncing off the walls, tables graced with food prepared with love and care, and time to look each other in the eye and say, “I love you” and to discover how you can be the servant of Christ to serve the needs of those you love and those who need the love of God.

Oh, you didn’t get the poem? Because you’re not subscribed to the Cloudburst Poetry list. Sign up! And if you want the one I’ve already sent, ask below in the comments section.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

4 thoughts on “Cloudburst poem: Merry Christmas!

  1. Amen. I agree that we must, in ways such as this, separate Christ from the commercialism of our society today. There are way to be a witness and a light without being a scrouge, the poem works for me in that way.

    God Bless

  2. Good thoughts Randal.

    I’ve not a problem with the seperation of religion and fantasy. Having been raised in a typical southern Baptist environment, the combination of Santa and Jesus was handled with typical parental wisdom. Santa was Santa, he brought the toys. Jesus was Jesus, and as long as everyone was in a good mood concerning the toys, it seemed like a good time to remember Jesus too.

    As I got older, the issue of Christmas and Jesus’ birth, being brought to mind each year toward the end of December became less of an issue to me. I know He was born, I know the wise men brought him gifts on his birth. I can see the initial link between Santa and the wise men and the gift giving and how men have tied the two together. While the example of the giving of a gift is not a scriptural command, it is often used as a traditional example. I personally have no problem with the use of the word “Christmas” time. Often, those within the Church will smile and say “holiday” time. Goodness knows of the raised eyebrows a “Christmas” party would cause, so, we just smile and say “holiday” party. We all know what we mean.

    If we want to sing Christmas carols in our home, be it “Grandma got runned over by a reigndeer” or “Joy to the World” during the last few weeks of the year, I have no issue with that. I find it humorus that some folks find it offensive to sing “Hark, the Herald Angel” in December, but any other time of the year, it’s perfectly acceptable.

    I like to use the season to express my love for Christ, my joy in knowing He was born, He died and was raised again. I know, now I’ve gotten into Easter! Don’t get me started!

    While there is no specific command to remember the birth of our saviour, I see no harm in the rememberance of His birth, but it should be a year long celebration. I know that December 25th is man’s feable attempt to gain atonment for a year of folly. Whether He was born in July or December is of no concern to me. Knowing He was alive again on Sunday is of great concern to me. If the Christian world wants to put emphasis on His birth once a year, that’s ok with me. I’ll remember His death and resurrection every single Sunday of the year. I think that will trump their one day a year without any problem.

    If we choose to sing “Silent Night” that’s ok too, no matter the time of year, as long as we also sing “Low in the Grave He Lay”

    Just some thoughts from a weary traveler.

    God bless us, everyone!

  3. Amen. Randy. Your comments were as balanced as I have ever read about Christmas. We in churches of Christ suffer an ambivalence, almost bordering on paranoia, about Christmas. We can have Christmas trees and related decorations in our homes, but God forbid that we have such decorations in our church buildings. We make no (or little) mention of the season in our worship leading up to December 25, except perhaps for singing a hymn or two mentioning the birth of Christ.

    It would make more sense to take advantage of the general mood of the season by emphasizing the spiritual significance of Jesus’ birth. His birth as a human being is very essential to the entire redemption story, yet we seldom mention it, even at Christmas time. Why not reclaim the season from the merchandisers and myth-spinners, and make it a strong statement of faith in Jesus?

    Have a very merry Christmas, basking in Jesus’ love. Glover

  4. Amen! Loved the poem and the article here about it. Keep up the good work you do here.

What do you think?