James’s Blog: Indifference.

James’s Blog:  Indifference.

When Jesus came to Golgotha, they hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed Him by.
They would not hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do, ‘
And still it rained the winter rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall, and cried for Calvary.

G. A. Studdert-Kennedy

James’s Blog: As Yet Untitled.

James’s Blog:  As Yet Untitled.

I read a book.
The author’s search
for the Jesus of our church.
“It turns out, as you can see,
that Jesus was just like me:
A Liberal, Western-educated, postmodern, hipster, beardy social justice warrior.”

I read a book.
The author’s search
for the Jesus of our church.
“It turns out, as you can see,
that Jesus was just like me:
A middle-aged Conservative white American male, angry at gays, Muslims, the unemployed and Russia.”

I read a book.
The author’s search
for the Jesus of our church.
“It turns out, as you can see,
that Jesus was just like me:
A bland, cringing, spineless academic who just wants everyone to be happy and is trying desperately to avoid giving offence.”

I read a book.
The author’s search
for the Jesus of our church.
“It turns out, as you can see,
that Jesus was just like me:
A black, bisexual, left-handed Wiccan who cares deeply about animals, making wicker baskets and bathing in her own urine.”

But where am I to begin
if I just want to be like him?

James’s Blog: Time for a Christmas Poem

James’s Blog:  Time for a Christmas Poem

For no reason other than because it’s Christmas, I’m going to post here one of my favourite Christmas poems, by a former Poet Laureate:

 

Christmas by John Betjeman
The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

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