Thunder on Christmas

Thunder, thunder crashing on Christmas

The Prince of Peace is coming

While the heavens are crackling and clapping


My son climbs into my lap.

“Was that thunder, Daddy?”

Yes, that’s thunder

But do not be afraid.


Thunder on Christmas, shaking the walls

First they shake, then crack and splinter

Then with a rush come crumbling down

The walls between Jew and Greek, man and woman

The walls between Muslim and Christian

The walls between worthy and unworthy

The walls that stretch across our consciousness

Hiding our neighbor from us and making it

So easy to hate them.

Thunder, thunder crashing on Christmas

Bringing all the walls down.


“Was that thunder, Daddy?”

Yes, that’s thunder

But do not be afraid.


Not all thunder destroys

Not all thunder creates chaos

Sometimes thunder clears the air

Sometimes a forest fire makes way for new life

Sometimes a pruned branch gives more fruit

Do not be afraid

Not of this thunder, echoing from Bethlehem


Yes son, that was thunder

But just like a black and white drawing

Comes alive with a splash of color

So too our complacent lives

With plush carpet and plates that are just too small

Oversized opinions screaming from the TV speakers

Our bellies and schedules are full

And yet these lives, so unsatisfied,

Need a splash of thunder

To shatter our illusion

That we can save ourselves


Thunder crashes in

And immediately we turn to the sky

Looking in awe for a power greater than ourselves


Thunder, thunder on Christmas!

Do you not know, have you not heard?

We need a Savior like we need a tempest

To chase the terror and fear into the vanishing night

To uproot the weeds and make way

For life

For hope

For a comfort that transcends our comfortable lives.


So yes, son, I say through a smile

Do not be afraid.

That is just what we need.

Not a savior who drifts in on the wind

And melts at the first heat

But Thunder, thunder on Christmas!

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