Not Your Ordinary Birthday Celebration

What must Jesus be thinking?

They say it’s your birthday.
Is that a rumor or is it the truth?

If true, it certainly isn’t like any birthday celebration
I’ve ever known.
I see candles, but they don’t crown a cake.
They light a wreath of evergreens.

I see presents. Lots of presents.
Mounds of brightly wrapped boxes. Gifts galore.
But the names on the gift tags are those
of family members, neighbors,
colleagues at work and friends.
I don’t see your name anywhere.

This month has been marked by holiday parties.
But the invitations to those occasions
did not indicate you were the guest of honor.
Curiously, the fact that it was your birthday
was not even mentioned.

What a ruse. What a rip-off.
What a rotten way to respond
to this anniversary of your arrival to planet Earth.

Aren’t you bothered by this, Jesus?
By all appearances
it looks like we are seizing your special day
as an occasion to have ourselves
a merry little Christmas.

Don’t you care, Jesus?
Don’t you want a piece of the action?
Or at least a piece of birthday cake?
I can’t help but think
that you would want a little recognition
on this your special day.

Don’t you want your birthday
to result in something more than
after-party hangovers, year-end bonuses
and long lines at return counters
(not to mention sensory overload)?

Don’t you want to be reminded
that those you came to redeem
haven’t forgotten why you were born in the first place?

Don’t you want us to be still
and know that you are God-with-us?
Wouldn’t such a silent night bring joy to your world…
and ours?

Forgive us, Jesus.
We know not what we do.
Or do we?