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What Have You Done to Us?

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What Have You Done to Us?

Jesus, what have you done to us?
We wanted a pet kitten
And you turned into a tiger.
We liked you the way you were.

Why couldn’t you leave us alone?
We wanted you to show up when 
we wanted you to make us feel good.

We wanted a pretty church for weddings and baptisms and funerals.
We wanted the cute Easter bunny hopping around on the lawn.
We thought religion was good for the kiddies.

Now all of a sudden you’ve turned against us.
We wanted peace and you brought us a sword.

Things were going along all right.
Then you got interested in the poor people.
Now they’re strutting around like they
Are going to inherit the earth.

Now all of a sudden you tell us
To love our enemies.
Do you know what will happen if we do?
They will nail our hide to the wall
And what will we do then, keep on praying for them?

We liked you when you were a little boy
Gentle, meek and mild, cooing in your cradle.
All those nice shepherds and angels,
And we felt just awful about King Herod.

Look at all we did for you.
We made a national holiday in your honor.
We built big industries around it – Christmas cards,
Toy machine guns for the kiddies
And all those fancy gift-wrapped whiskey bottles.

We built pretty churches in your honor,
Stained glass, organs, the works,
And when the people moved away from the riff raff,
The church followed them
Straight out into the suburbs.

Looking at all we’ve done for you, Jesus,
Why can’t you leave us alone?
We’ve got enough troubles now.
Why do you keep pricking our conscience?

What do you want from us for Christmas, our hearts?

Because of his doubts, John the Baptizer introduced us to the One who is to come. And like John, we will have to respond on the basis of what we hear and see.

As we move swiftly through the rituals of the season of Advent, let us not fail to look and to listen. Not looking and not listening might cause us to miss the point of it all, and that would be a sad and terrible thing.

Thanks to Joe E. Pennell for these thoughts. 

Why does Jesus keep pricking YOUR conscience?  Did YOU expect Jesus to be like a pet kitten and then Jesus turned out to be a tiger?


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