The Rebel Jesus

This song has been called the “antidote” for the malaise that people may find themselves feeling in the weeks leading up to Christmas. As our society has turned the time of Advent (a time of waiting in anticipation for the coming of Jesus) into an über-saturated shopping and advertisement extravaganza, many people have lost their excitement for Christmas.

This song, The Rebel Jesus, is written from the perspective “of a heathen and a pagan,” and I think does a great job of pointing out some of the irony that the secular season of Christmas has taken on. It’s too bad that society doesn’t keep the liturgical season of Advent a part of our culture…we wouldn’t hear Christmas music until…oh my gosh…Christmas! And instead of seeing it and hearing it in the stores from basically Halloween to New Year’s, we’d only celebrate it for the twelve days it was originally intended to be.

This is a great song, for so many reasons. Enjoy!

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants’ windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God’s graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by ‘the Prince of Peace’
And they call him by ‘the Savior’
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they’ve turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber’s den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
And if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now please forgive me if I seem
To take the tone of judgement
For I’ve no reason to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

–From the album The McGarrigle Christmas Hour, by Martha Wainwright and Lily Lanken.


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