Who is coming to town this Christmas?

Okay, my apologies to all of you who have been listening to Christmas music since September, and can’t wait to put up your collection of Santa Clauses from around the globe. Personally, I love Christmas.  I even love Santa – or more accurately – the REAL St. Nicholas.  One of my favorite stories, in fact, is how the tradition of stockings hung by the chimney actually comes from a great act of grace and generosity from – again – the REAL St. Nicholas.  Check the story out here. Why was St. Nicholas such a generous and important figure in the ancient world, and why is he still celebrated and immortalized today?  Well, it’s not because he peeked in your window when you were sleeping, or because he kept a list of your good and bad deeds and arbitrarily put you on a good or bad list. It’s not because HE came to town, but rather because someone else came to town.  Or, as The Message translation of the Bible puts it, “[Christ] moved into the neighborhood.”

If you haven’t guessed already, I have some issues with the song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  I have even more issues when Bruce Springsteen tries to sing it, but that’s a whole different blog.  I’ll skip the soapbox ranting and raving, but that song not only creeps me out, it is an offense to the message of Christmas.  So for now, and at the risk of being hunted by copyright lawyers, I wish only to offer, with great humility, my own lyrics to this classic tune.  I hope you enjoy them, and I hope they get you into the spirit of waiting; waiting for God to arrive once again in our hearts and in the world God so loves.  (I hope St. Nicholas approves too!)

Jesus Christ is Coming to Town

Oh, your wish has come true, so no need to cry,

I bring you good news, of very great joy…

 Jesus Christ is coming to town!

 He’s made up a list, he’s checking it twice,

I see your name here, whether naughty or nice…

 Jesus Christ is coming to town!

He’s with you when you’re sleeping, and when you are awake.

He knows when you’ve been bad or good, but he loves you just the same.

 So, tell the grown-ups, and all your friends too,

The babe is with them, just like he is with you…

 Jesus Christ is coming to town!

 The gifts that you’ll get, the songs we now sing,

Are nothing compared to the joy that he brings…

 Jesus Christ is coming to town.

 All kids in every nation will have a jubilee.

God’s loving heart is showing, for all the world to see.

So, when you do pout, and when you do cry,

When you mess up, even though you do try…

Jesus Christ is here with me…

Jesus Christ is here with you…

Jesus Christ is here with us now!!!

Well, there it is!  Copy it, share it, make up hand motions, sing it on YouTube, and maybe, just maybe, kids will have the new words memorized in a generation or two.  What!?  It could happen…  Oh, and have a blessed Advent and Merry Christmas!

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