Nearly 20 years ago, the idea came to me to write a poem to Jesus for Christmas. It seemed the least I could do for Him, who gave His life for me. Each year, I attempt to offer Him a simple poem, with the hope that it will make Him smile. I suspect it will.
So, for the weeks leading up to Christmas, I'll be peppering my posts with some of my old Christmas poems to Jesus, to help us savor Him more and more, as the glorious season approaches! I hope you enjoy each of these. Let's begin with a poem I wrote for Jesus, December of 2013.
Happy Birthday, Savior. Thank you for being prodigal (recklessly extravagant) toward me! -Dan
Christmas: God’s Prodigal Gift (2013)
This is an unconventional Christmas Poem, based on the parable of The Prodigal Son (Luke 15), with a proper definition of the word prodigal.
prod.i.gal adjective \ˈprä-di-gəl\
1: recklessly extravagant; to spend everything you have.
Christmas is the story of a Prodigal God, who at infinite cost to Himself, spent everything He had in reckless extravagance, to bring us home. It's found in Luke 15. I call it: The Parable of Two Lost Sons and One Prodigal Father. Sit back with some hot chocolate and ponder these thoughts...
¹Countless calendars ago
A Father raised two boys;
The Younger bolted far away,
The Older made no noise.
²Son One ignored his Father’s heart,
While seizing on his wealth;
Son Two, he bided long his time
Awaiting ol’ Dad’s death.
³Neither really wanted Dad –
They wanted just his stuff;
Yet patiently, he loved his sons,
Détente was not enough.
⁴The Youngest son came crawling back,
A broken man, for sure;
On him was poured extravagance
Like perfume down a sewer.
⁵Welcomed home, his Daddy ran
With ring and robe and shoes;
A party planned to celebrate
The son he wouldn’t lose.
⁶Meanwhile, the older brother heard:
“The little Rascal’s back,
And worse than that, a party’s planned…”
…the Elder blew his stack.
⁷“I’ve slaved for Dad 10,000 years,
Got nothing in return;
And frankly now, I wish him dead,”
His father’s heart he spurned.
⁸Insulted by his son’s affront
The father kept his poise
And asked his eldest to come in,
“Forgive – and taste my joy.”
⁹The do-good son refused to budge
Now why should he forgive?
He’d let his brother rot before
Instead of seeking him.
¹⁰Should not the oldest brother been
The one to track and comb,
Every nook and every cranny
Till he brought his sibling home?
¹¹A Better Older Brother
Would have restrained the Younger man,
Would have locked the front door tightly
Before he packed his bags and ran.
¹²A Better Older Brother
Would not turn his own heart numb,
And that’s the news this Christmas:
A Better Brother’s come.
¹³His name is Jesus, and He spent
His life to bring us home,
Paid infinite expense to make
A renegade his own.
¹⁴In Christmas we discover
Jesus is the Better Son
He has chased us down our alleys
Wouldn’t quit until He’d won.
¹⁵He is the Holy Hero
Who says he’s not ashamed
To call us his own brothers (Hebrews 2:11)
To give us His last name.
God has been lavish toward us – even prodigal – through Jesus our Better, Older Brother.
(Special thanks to Tim Keller’s great book: The Prodigal God.)
Next, Christmas Poem 2: 'Twas the Night After Christmas