Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Rebel Jesus

I've been loving an album lately: From the Realm of Glory by Bebo Norman. This song is my favorite, even though it makes my heart sink and guilt creep in. I think the message is that this "heathen and pagan," Jackson Brown, thinks of Christians as hypocrites. It wouldn't matter so much what he thought of me, unless, as a Christian, I felt the truth of his lyrics in my heart and life. The line that I'm still trying to understand is in bold below. Maybe it means that those Christians who might be daring enough to care about the poor, as Jesus did, get scorned and mocked, as Jesus did?  So we don't, which makes us hypocrites? Thoughts? It's been a hard, ongoing Advent reflection for me the last week or so.

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
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for all God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

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

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

But 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 this 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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