There are times when the rich words of the poets say it best. I admit it. I struggle with this whole Christmas thing. I’m tired, I’m busy, I’m broke. What we as a culture have done with Christmas is just wrong, and trying to tag it as a religious holiday makes it even worse. I would gladly take the name “Christmas” off of the commercialized, materialistic glut-fest that our culture observes every year.
Christmas should be calm.
Or maybe loud, boisterous, and full of laughter.
But not crazed, exhausting, and guilt-inducing.
Two poems — two very different poems — have been on my mind lately.
First, an old one:
This world is too much with us
By William Wordsworth
I Feel Sorry for Jesus
By Naomi Shihab Nye
People won’t leave Him alone.
I know He said, wherever two or more
are gathered in my name…
But I bet some days He regrets it.
Cozily they tell you what he wants
and doesn’t want
as if they just got an e-mail.
Remember “Telephone,” that pass-it-on game
where the message changed dramatically
by the time it rounded the circle?
People blame terrible pieties on Jesus.
They want to be his special pet.
Jesus deserves better.
I think He’s been exhausted
for a very long time.
He went into the desert, friends.
He didn’t go into the pomp.
He didn’t go into
the golden chandeliers
and say, the truth tastes better here.
See? I’m talking like I know.
It’s dangerous talking for Jesus.
You get carried away almost immediately.
I stood in the spot where He was born.
I closed my eyes where He died and didn’t die.
Every twist of the Via Dolorosa
was written on my skin.
And that makes me feel like being silent
for Him, you know? A secret pouch
of listening. You won’t hear me
mention this again.