“The Little Lord Jesus Some Crying He Makes”: What Really Happened at Christmas (Told in Dr. Seussian Fashion)

By Paul Copan

**Before reading the poem, you may want to read the related blog post: “What Really Happened at Christmas.”

You’ve heard the story lots of times
Of Jesus, Joseph, Mary,
Well, I really hate to tell it
In a way that’s quite contrary.

But so you’ll know the truth, the facts,
This story I’ll rehearse.
I’m sure that for your hearing,
You’ll be better off—not worse.

By paying heed to ancient ways,
To customs from of old,
We’ll gain new insight, learn new things.
Great wonders will unfold!

Let’s take some time to think about
Dear Joseph—that fine man.
How silly and how rude he’d be,
Had he so poorly planned.

What decent man would take his wife—
So great with child was she!—
And put her on a donkey
For a rough trip? No, sirree!

And wouldn’t Joseph be ashamed—
The innkeeper he’s waking—
To beg him: “Won’t you let us in?
My wife—her water’s breaking”?

The Bible clearly tells us,
“While in Bethlehem they stayed,
The time came for the baby’s birth.”
Quite normal, won’t you say?

Though Caesar’s law created crowds,
In Bethl’em lived a clan.
And Joseph’s fam’ly had to squeeze
Like sardines in a can.

To go first to an inn to stay,
Ignoring one’s relations
Is such an insult in the East.
This is the West’s creation!

There were no inns in podunk towns
Like Bethlehem, there weren’t.
But you’ll reply, “Luke 2 says ‘inn.’”
Well, still that’s no deterrent.

The Greek—it gives a simple word.
Pronounce it: “Ka-ta-lu-ma.”
Now please let me give some de-tails,
Dispelling this false rum-ah.

The word is used in Luke and Mark
For that Last Supper room.
It was indeed a room for guests,
We wisely should assume.

And Matthew says the wise men to
A house in Bethl’em came.
It makes good sense to think it was
What Luke described—the same!

Arabia—‘twas whence they’d come
With frankincense and myrrh,
Not Babylon or Persia far—
To think thus is to err.

“But what about the animals
That lived within the stable?
Your theory’s doomed, I’m very sure.
Explain that if you’re able!”

But such an accusation fails
To keep things in perspective.
A closer look will soon rebut
Unwarranted invective!

So take it easy. You’ll soon see
That what I say makes sense.
A careful search will show that
I’m not being all that dense.

In Jesus’ time quite commonly
Sheds were attached to houses,
Right up against the living room—
Which let in many mouses.

We also sing the carol
Of sweet Jesus in the manger.
He makes no crying, so it says—
What theologic danger!

The little Jesus truly cried
Big alligator tears.
He soiled his diapers; learned to walk,
To trust and not to fear.

The Jesus of the Bible
Was most human, there’s no doubt.
He shows us how to hope in God
When we are down and out.

So here’s the picture that we have:
Our couple’s heading south;
They come to Joseph’s relatives;
It’s crowded, there’s no doubt.

But they arrive in ample time,
The baby’s birth awaiting.
The due date comes, and they’re prepared—
With fam’ly celebrating.

The guest room being full,
The birth took place in crampy quarters.
But this was not a problem, no.
Not much was out of order.

The birth was in the living room,
Right next to it—a manger.
With straw thrown in, we have a bed—
More natural, not stranger.

His birth was not dramatic—though
It certainly was humble.
What matters most is “God with us.”
Without it, faith would crumble.

I’ve done a lot of reading
Of the Bible’s finest scholars.
So please don’t think I’m being mean.
Don’t yell. Don’t scream. Don’t holler.

If you think what I’ve just said
Is ludicrous, a joke,
Please know I’ve studied long and hard.
I’m not just blowing smoke.

The myst’ry of that Christmas
Is not changed one whit, it’s not.
The one thing I’ve removed is
That romanticizing plot.

The Incarnation’s splendor stands.
“God with us” still’s a fact.
In all of my recounting
I’ve preserved this quite intact.

May we rejoice together
In this glorious revelation
Of God who stoops and condescends—
With humbled jubilation!

    3 replies to "“The Little Lord Jesus Some Crying He Makes”: What Really Happened at Christmas (Told in Dr. Suessian Fashion)"

    • Braden

      I read the previous blog by Copan, mentioned in this article, and it added to the poem.

      Nice to see a semi creative approach to the christmas story.

    • Paul Copan

      Thanks, Braden! A Merry Christmas to you!

    • […] “Away in a Manger,” a popular Christmas carol, has this line: “The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes, But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.” But did Jesus cry at birth? This depiction of a “no crying” Jesus is Docetic. Docetism is an early heresy that ignores the humanity of Christ while emphasizing His deity. In reality, as a baby, Jesus would have likely cried, slept, and needed care just like any other human infant. He was fully God, yes. But He was also fully man. [A Great Christmas Read Concerning This] […]

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