I posted this picture last year (but didn't have many readers then!) It's called "If Jesus had been born in Glasgow.." and what I said about it then was: "If you're from Glasgow, or probably anywhere in Scotland actually, you'll get this. Otherwise you won't. It's offensive, yes, but it's touching too, and funny and clever all at once. The bottle the guy in the yellow hoodie is holding is Buckfast wine - produced by monks and originally sold in chemists but now drunk by young teenagers on the streets. The reason I put it on the blog even though I suppose it's kinda blasphemous is that for me it says that Jesus came for this type of person too, and for all the many and varied types of people I come across in prison. The gospel's not for the posh only!!"
My favourite poet is Steve Turner. I've posted two of his poems before, here and here. Here's another to make us think.
If Jesus Was Born Today
If Jesus was born today
it would be in a downtown motel
marked by a helicopter's flashing bulb.
A traffic warden, working late,
would be the first upon the scene.
Later, at the expense of a TV network,
an eminent sociologist,
the host of a chat show
and a controversial author
would arrive with their good wishes
-the whole occasion to be filmed as part of the
'Is This The Son Of God?' one hour special.
Childhood would be a blur of photographs and speculation
dwindling by his late teens into
'Where Is He Now?' features in Sunday magazines.
If Jesus was thirty today
they wouldn't really care about the public ministry,
they'd be too busy investigating His finances
and trying to prove He had Church or Mafia connections.
The miracles would be explained by
an eminent and controversial magician,
His claims to be God's Son recognised as
excellent examples of Spoken English
and immediately incorporated into
the O-Level syllabus,
His sinless perfection considered by moral philosophers
as, OK, but a bit repressive.
If Jesus was thirty-one today
He'd be the fly in everyone's ointment-
the sort of controversial person who
stands no chance of eminence.
Communists would expel Him, capitalists
would exploit Him or have Him
smeared by people who know a thing or two about God.
Doctors would accuse Him of quackery,
soldiers would accuse Him of cowardice,
theologians would take Him aside and try
to persuade Him of His non-existence.
If Jesus was thirty-two today we'd have to
end it all. Heretic, fundamentalist, literalist,
puritan, pacifist, non-conformist, we'd take Him
away and quietly end the argument.
But the argument would rumble in the ground
at the end of three days and would break out
and walk around as though death was some bug,
saying 'I am the resurrection and the life...
No man cometh to the Father but by me'.
While the magicians researched new explanations
and the semanticists wondered exactly what
He meant by 'I' and 'No man' there would be those
who stand around amused, asking for something