Wonder Boi Writes

Christmas Song Blog Day 20 – Sweet Little Jesus Boy

I used to hate today’s song.  It didn’t fit with my understanding of Christmas.  I use to think the manger was cute, with all those animals, and the shepherds, and the idyllic golden light.  When I was a child I thought like a child, and this song is not childish.

Then I became an adult.  I came out.  I studied history and politics.  The Bush administration lasted eight years.  I saw how unfair the world could be. Christmas came to mean something less perfect and more radical. I saw the dirt and fear and oppression.  Then I gave birth myself.  It was scary and bloody and painful, and even with all the comforts of modern medicine, it was still dangerous.  I think that’s when I really understood the horrors of the manger.

And still, I didn’t fully fall in love with this song until recently, because I didn’t see any real plus side in pointing out how awful giving birth in a manger really is until I let it sink in that this wasn’t just any sweet little baby who we made be born in a manger.  This was God.  The savior of the whole human race.  The person born to bear the sins of the world. This was the long-awaited Christ child, and we didn’t know who He was.

Jesus came into the world of circumstances and still showed us how to love God and love neighbor. He taught us that the greatest among us must serve.  He taught us that whatever we do to those least among us we do to God.  He lived his life to show us how to be our best amid the worst the world has to offer. Two thousand years later we are singing prayers that say, “Please forgive us, Lord. We didn’t know it was You.”

That’s not for nothing.  That’s a reminder, every day, no matter what else is going on in our own lives, to look into the depths of human despair, at the grimy, at the dirty, at the bloody, at the foreign and the frightening, and to say, “Is that You, Lord?”

Because the answer to the question is alway “yes.”


December 20, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. My grandma always used to sing this. I like your description of the journey you went on with this song.

    Comment by J. E. Knowles | December 21, 2016 | Reply

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