We love birthdays around our house. We party big. We talk love. During birthday dinners, we always go around the table and share what we love about that person. For Christmas this year, I decided to do that in poem form for Jesus. I read it out loud at our Christmas meal and cried – just like I cry at every birthday. In fact, our littlest runs to get a box of tissues before I even start speaking about the things I love. I don’t know why I can’t keep it together, it is what it is.
So here is my poem for Jesus. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Lord.
It’s so different than it used to be,
this love that fills my heart
This sense of joy and connection
from which I never want to part.
Religion was once a boring pursuit
A duty to gravely tend to
One I soon easily abandoned
When I couldn’t measure up to you.
Like a little kid tired of the rules
I filled my backpack and hit the road
I did what I wanted, oh what I wanted
Those nasty rules did I unload
I’m not sure I saw it coming
The traps the enemy carefully laid for me
Trying to get me caught in addiction
to love, to attention, to me.
Nothing was ever enough
as I pursued value everywhere else
Looking for the world to tell me good
until I came to the end of myself
You were there, as you’d been all along
And you invited me to know you
You brought joyful people and passionate believers
Who lived the love they knew
They pointed me to your character
Your mercy, love and grace
They showed me your sense of humor
The smile on your face
They introduced me to your son
The one I’d thought was bound in rules
And I found a faithful friend and brother
Whose heart for people was his fuel.
You showed me your plan for life
To protect and free and guide
You showed me the love you live
By filling me up from the inside.
And as I’ve come to know your love
The grandest adventures you’ve brought my way
Fun people and joys, amazing pursuits
Beauty to capture every single day.
And there’s been heartaches, there’s been hurt
Pain that took my breath away
But instead of blaming you and yours
I fell into your arms to hear you say:
I’ve got you and I’ll never let you go
This world is broken, it’s true
But that’s why I sent my son
To bring hope, life and joy to you.
Comfort in the moment,
along with eternity in my sight
Just hold fast and let me see you through
Every wrong will I make right
And now I can see how you changed it
Changed it all by coming to earth
Entering into the most broken of places
to show us your love and our worth
You paved the way, you gave it all
to give us a home in your heart
And all we had to do was say yes
And believe in this beautiful new start.
It was never about the religion
The pious pinched and proud
It was always about you living love
thoroughly, completely, out loud.
So thank you for coming down to this earth
My beautiful savior and joy
Thank you for showing me your goodness
As you came to earth as baby boy.
Happy Birthday, my savior
My king, friend and best Christmas gift
May you hear the praises of many
And may this poem your heart lift
Because as I think of gifts to give
tor family, friends and guests
It’s you I want to thank the most
It’s your gift I want to be the best.
Because I love you more than life itself
I love you with tears, can’t see
I love you with all that I am…
Because, beautiful God, you first loved me