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with Jesus


Jim McPherson


December’s wild collective madness strikes!

We all submit like slaves to Santa’s lash

and with our hearts and minds and credit cards

crown Santa as de facto Season King.


Remote from human suffering at the Pole,

he speaks to those who dream of better things

beyond injustice misery and toil

to offer tinsel hope and brittle joy:

“Just come to me, and I will bring relief ‑

my cargo cult will save you from your grief.”


I cannot soil the Incarnation’s gift

with Santa’s baubles or his sugared grift.


Give me the God whose feet have touched the ground

and walked with us as human as ourselves

to celebrate our joys and share our pain;

who’s borne injustice hunger and fatigue

and who, foreswearing all escape, endured

our human death; and Death’s defeat secured.


December’s now the torment of my year;

while Santa’s bogus claims assault my ears

the One we fete, who lived our living’s ills,

is trampled in the rush for happy pills.


Jim McPherson is a retired Anglican priest from Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Australia. Originally published in To Tease Our Knowing. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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