Coming To A Manger Near You

Christmas 2019 is nearly upon us, and I have just dated this blog entry. But that’s alright; all prose is destined to be relegated to the dustbin of eternity, once our Savior returns. But this focus is, of course, on His first coming. Then, like now, people went about their daily lives, living them out – buying selling, marrying, going on vacations, partying, and yes, even dying. Some things never change.

We have everything under control. We don’t need to be reminded of that old story about Jesus being born in a manger, shepherds seeing angels in the night sky, and a bunch of smelly animals crowding around as a nondescript baby is born to a young Jewess. We’d rather not take the time to be bored to tears, because we are rushing off to the next party, the next pre-Christmas Sale, or the next, last minute trip to the grandparents house, just in time “for the Holidays”. It’s all about family, anyway, right?

In the late Fall of 2006, I stood watching TV as the local news rolled a story about shoppers camping outside the precincts of a major US electronics retailer. They were all wanting to get the jump on buying the latest incarnation of a popular video game system that had recently been introduced to American stores. I was aghast, but also amused. I still recall mumbling to myself, “What is it about Christmas that makes people do something as crazy as that”? And from that, my poem, The Christmas Prince, was born. Happily, it remains relevant today. It shall always be so until that Grand Return. I hope you like it:

What is it about Christmas that gives us pause? It’s not Rudolph the Red Nose or Santa Claus.

It’s not the trees decorated with care, although they’re quite pretty to be perfectly fair.

It’s not the gifts, wrapped with pinpoint precision, or songs sentimental whose numbers are legion.

“Playstation 3”! the reason, you say? “The plenitude of technology’s ray”!

They camped and froze, in long lines were slumming, as if this thing was the Second Coming.

“Family and friends gathered ‘round dinner”? Surely that is the yuletide winner!

No, none of these give full, pleasing light, to guide and comfort on a long winter’s night.

“The reason, the reason”! you demand at last. You expect something to appear and fast?

Enough of the regaling and giving of hints! I’ll tell you the tale of the Christmas Prince:

He was born from the starlight, His Dad was the King of all we could feel, think, or dream.

The voices of old said that He was God. Now isn’t that so perfectly odd?

And not at all quaint or non-threatening. Methinks His appearing was some kind of reckoning.

Yes. His coming: a judgment on all that was wrong. For all of your heartache, He’d give you a song.

This Christmas Prince, the King of Kings, did so many wonderful things.

He taught, He healed, He raised the dead. And made lunch for a crowd with some fish and bread.

But wait! There’s more! His life, sacrificial; His blood for ours – not at all superficial.

Cruel men took the Prince, not wanting to hear His message of love which cancels out fear.

So, they took Him, and beat Him, and bruised Him some more. I know that He knew who He suffered for.

Then, they stole Perfect Love, nailing Him to a tree. And He hung there, and died there for you and for me.

But death couldn’t hold Him, for truth could not lie. He rose up, renewed, no more to die.

Now, the way through His manger is low, it is said. So, you’d better stoop down or you’ll bump your head.

Come worship the Prince, the newborn King. He’s the One who was promised, so cheer up and sing.

This tale of the Prince has been my plea. What was lost is now found, if you want it to be.

So, remember my words, all you who still sleep, for peace, hope and love, though free, are not cheap.

The Prince, He is real. What more can I say? Arise and be glad on this Christmas Day!

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