As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols,
we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth,
(as there be gods many, and lords many,)
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things,
and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
I Corinthians 8 [KJV]
Roll a Yule log on the fire
and let the mystery-cult inspire.
What Persians, Gauls, and Romans knew
could teach us all a thing or two
about midwinter celebrations
warming frigid Northern nations.
The Phrygian cap he used to wear,
holly entwined with evergreens
still linger in our current year
recalling dim pre-Christian scenes.
Some strange vestigial rites remain:
The specter of the Lydian Bishop.
No bull – but reindeer pull his train
spreading love, inspiring worship
mixed with Nordic pageantry,
and glimmers of Medieval night;
His season beckons, burning bright.
In England’s prim polyphony
voices call across the centuries
no remnant of tauroctony
resurrecting pagan memories.
Drunks and rebels hum the tunes –
they lift the cup, they cast the runes
in Eleusinian affairs
like office parties, trees in houses:
timeless ritual that rouses
peace and love – goodwill to men.
(is it so diabolic then?)
Ghosts of Roman soldiers laugh:
the sun-god wears a funny hat.
His bull was just a golden calf
that grew up sacrificially fat.
Who cares when Christ was born, or where –
the point is: God appeared on earth
to set the record straight, lay bare
unwelcome truth: the second birth.
A new religion superseded
what had been before. It needed
rituals to syncretize
(no drastic sin, in heaven’s eyes).
Why rail against it? What is wrong
with festive fare and holy song?
You think you can set back the clock?
destroy the sun or banish God?
Why agitate the Shepherd’s flock;
in vain you would restrain His rod…
Since Christ is all in all why bother
searching out old gods to smother?
Who denies He rules the ages
mocks your idols, stumps the sages?
And so you are without excuse
for finding reasons to be mad –
committing holy child-abuse
and making mother Mary sad.
Why fight the vibe, why square the wheel?
No point in Scrooging up the deal.
Just kiss beneath God’s mistletoe
and let the blessed season flow.