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A Humbled God
by Jim Burklo
Reprinted with permission from the author.
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God had it all,
He was on top of the world.
His acronym was listed on NASDAQ,
His identity was managed by a top PR firm,
His handlers kept him at more than arms-length
From everyone else.
But within God was a stirring,
An urge that he could not deny.
There was something he needed
That his money could not buy.
Against the advice
Of his masters of divinity
And his tax accountants
And his media consultants
And his personal trainers,
He concluded that his existential loneliness
Was more than he could bear.
The only thing missing from his omnipotence
Was the love of finitude herself.
His lawyers tried to hush her up,
His board of directors met in secret,
His spokespeople made no mention
Of his little indiscretion
With a certain Mary of
But she was not embarrassed.
What others called a scandal,
She called a blessing.
She went public right away.
She sang, magnificat-ly, freely,
Turning down offers of cash from the tabloids.
Christmas is coming, she said, and soon,
God would have a face
Whether he liked it or not.
God, she said,
Was going to be outed,
And the whole embarrassing truth
About the incomplete creation,
The scandal of evil,
The rot in religion,
And the corruption of power
Would be revealed.
And, to add to the outrage,
This news would be delivered in a manger,
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, and
Would grow up to be a man
Who looked a lot like God.
Which would make it all the more surprising,
Since this man would be being kind and forgiving,
Just and faithful, caring and forbearing.
His divinity would embarrass his Father
Into behaving more humanely
Than anyone would have dreamed possible,
And inspire humans into behaving more divinely
Than they had ever imagined.
Three dark-suited agents
Descended on the manger
To buy her silence with gold and frankincense and myrrh,
And a corps of angels was sent
To sing loudly and drown out her every word.
A team of burly shepherds
Was hired to bounce the paparazzi and the press
Away from the manger door.
But Mary sang on, above it all:
Christmas is coming,
And heaven will come down to earth,
And there will be prophet-sharing,
And truth will begin to speak to power,
And justice will begin to prevail.
Christmas is coming,
And soon Gods little mistake,
His brief fling with mortal me,
Will save God from himself,
And us from him.
Christmas is coming, she said,
And soon Gods old idea of himself
And our old ideas about God
Will fly out the manger window
With the bathwater
And the baby Jesus will remain.
Christmas is coming, she sang,
And nobody and nothing can stop it!
Christmas is coming, and Mary still sings,
Sweeter now, and slow.
The three men have wisened,
And their faces have softened.
The angels merely hum,
And even the shepherds have come inside,
Preparing to meet their humbled God.