I had heard Happy Birthday Jesus songs before. Making A Slugs & Bugs Christmas provided the challenge of writing a Happy Birthday Jesus song that would reflect the often confused and commingled motivations I bring to celebrating Christmas. I’m the dad that stops at CVS at 5:30pm on Christmas Eve for “just a few more little things.” I worry that the the presents we’ve already got wrapped under the tree won’t have them jumping up and down with excitement. When I take a step back, I’m concerned that they will end up like me… completely distracted by the nonsense built up by the Christmas Shopping Season, and missing the deep magic of the incarnation.
What happened on Christmas day was so extraordinary it outshines Creation itself. Instead of kickstarting life as we know it, Christmas set in motion the Life that is our only hope. For those who hope in Christ, (and for those who don’t) Christmas revealed the full measure of God’s commitment and plumbed the depths of his unfathomable love. God made his Son a baby, to grow and dwell among us, to teach us, and finally, by his obedience to death and ultimate resurrection, to gather the wayward, hopeless and despairing, and make a family filled with hope and joy.
I love my country, and I love exchanging gifts, but as long as I live in the USA, I know I’ll have to fight and claw through the shiny sleek emptiness of “what’d ya get?” and my kids will too. Happy Birthday Jesus is my way of flipping the lights on for myself, and anyone else who longs for a rich season of joyful reflection and thanksgiving, but instead gets duped every time.
PLAY: Happy Birthday Jesus
Here’s the lyrics to Happy Birthday Jesus
There’ve been Christmas decorations up in Target, like, foreverI can’t believe it’s finally hereI’ve been hoping for a skateboard and my sister wants a dogThe three wise men had the right idear(singing)Happy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusBright and early Christmas mornHappy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusI’m so glad that you were born–Last year I got a yo-yo and a water gun and legosI can still see reindeer wrapping paper thrown across the floorNow I can’t find the yo-yo and the water gun is bustedBut the legos are still cool… this year I just want some more!Happy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusBright and early Christmas mornHappy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusHappy birthday JesusI’m so glad that you were bornNoel, noel, born the King of IsraelNoel, noel, born the King of Israel–We were singing Christmas carols Christmas eveAnd I got a lump in my throat reminding me what I believeHow you left heaven ‘cause it’s what you had to doTo make me newYou should have heard me singingHappy Birthday Jesus…