‘Twas the fight over Christmas and in God’s houses,
Boycotts were forming to fight atheist louses;
The attacks were hurled and poisoned the air,
It seemed that Rev. Falwell was being a bear.
Like children he shouted at all those who said,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“Holidays” while he wanted “Christmas” instead;
It created conflict, at which he is apt,
But I wondered if stores received a bad rap.
When from down the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my house to see what was the matter;
Down the road toward the mall I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and got mugged for my cash.
People were running down each and every row
Fighting for toy soldiers, board games and yo-yos;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But our Lord Jesus who was standing right there!
But people ran by Him, so lively and quick,
Some pushed Him for being in the way, some kicked;
The people yelled at Him, and called Him some names,
Their comments seemed much like those from when He first came.
“Now get out of my way!” (“No room at the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Inn!”),
“Oh come on, move Stupid!” (“You can’t forgive sin!”);
“If you are not shopping get out of the mall!”
(To claim you are God takes quite a lot of gall!”).
As people ran past Him I let out a sigh,
Did they not know that for them He came to die?
Yet shopping, not worship, is what they did do,
It seemed that Christmas had undergone a coup.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The shouting and yelling I guessed of some goof;
Outside I went to find the source of the sound,
A loud group of Christians was what I then found.
They argued that stores took Christ out of Christmas,
So thus boycotts would come and they made a list;
“Now we will fight and fight, and take our day back,”
“Stores better say ‘Christmas’ or catch holy flack.”
As I watched their big show, I was tempted to tarry,
Until one of them said, “Christmas should be merry!”
“Yes it should be,” I thought, but it is not so,
This is not the season for Falwell’s “Friend or Foe”
I saw their faces that with anger did seethe,
And I guessed there could not be much joy beneath;
I ran back inside as they continued yelling,
To find the One who meant more than all the selling.
I searched and searched but He was not in the mall,
But I did find a “God loves you” bouncy ball;
Jesus perfume and a Jesus bobble-head,
So why are we focused on what stores have said?
Through buying is not how salvation does work,
So why fight for wording and look like a jerk?
To preach on Jesus is not the job of Lowe’s
But for us to teach He came, died, and arose!
If we tell of His birth, who cares what stores say?
The message is our job, so focused let’s stay;
At stores you will only receive religion-lite,
Thus “Holidays” is fine, so please stop the dumb fight!
Brian Kaylor is communications specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Missouri