Monday, December 17th, 2012
Glen Scrivener's brilliant poem comparing Santa with God.
They say thereís a big man who lives far away,
Supposedly jolly but itís hard to say.
Iíve never seen him, and neither have you.
But the children believe, and I spose thatíll do.
Heís known as a loner, with many a quirk
No time for a chat, heís embroiled in his work
He keeps to himself, for most of the year,
I reckon weíre grateful he doesnít appear.
We send him requests, for particular needs,
But we never hear back, who knows if he heeds?
We try to be good, give his arm a twist,
To merit our place on his blessed little list.
And maybe one day if we do what we should,
Heíll give us our things, so long as weíre good.
Iíve had it to here, Iím calling his bluff:
Heís a weird moralistic dispenser of stuff!
Granted, this rant is a strange one to pick
But listen Iím not really after St Nick
As strange as he is, and Santa is odd,
In fact Iím attacking most folksí view of God.
Itís God who we see as a distant Big Guy Ė
An ancient, invisible, St Nick in the Sky.
ďHeís sees you asleep, He knows when you wake
Heís watching and waiting to spot your mistake.Ē
And just like with Santa, requests we hand in,
We want all his things but we donít want him.
Thatís our connection with old Father Christmas.
We might dress it up, itís essentially business.
Throughout the year, good behaviourís our onus
When Christmas rolls round weíre expecting our bonus.
ďJust leave us the gifts Nick, weíve been good enough!
And then please push on, now weíve got all your stuff!Ē
I mean Santa is interesting, curious, quirky
But no-one wants him to share their Turkey!
Iím sure his ďho, ho, hosĒ are sublime,
But I fear what heíll say once heís drunk our mulled wine.
Thatís old St Nick, but the picture rings true,
Itís how we imagine what God is like too.
But Christmas resounds with a stunning ďNot so!Ē
The One from on high was born down below.
To a world in need He did not send another.
God the Son became God our Brother.
He drew alongside, forever to dwell,
Our God in the flesh, Immanuel.
This God in the Manger uproots all our notions:
A heavenly stooping, divine demotion.
Born in a stable, wriggling on straw,
Fully committed to life in the raw.
Santa gives things and then goes away.
Jesus shows up, to befriend and to stay.
Santa rewards those with good behaviour.
Jesus comes near to the broken as Saviour.
If you donít like God, I think I know whyÖ
You probably think Heís St Nick in the Sky.
Youíre right to reject that far-away stranger!
This Christmas look down to the God in the manger.