Rev. Thane W. Cornell

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December 22, 2012
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Thane W. Cornell: The ballad of the magical 'X' in X-mas

The following poem was inspired by the criticism of a well-meaning individual who questioned why I, as a minister, would cross Christ out of Christmas by writing "Christmas" as "X-mas" in one of my letters. My reply to my inspirator was delivered with this ballad entitled "The Magical 'X' in X-mas":

The reason for the cross in Xmas

Is not to strike "Christ" out,

And forget that this is His birthday

This I greatly doubt!

As a man of the cloth and scripture,

I'm given to comprehend

The many, many ways God reaches out

With a helping hand to lend.

When I look at the "X" in Xmas,

I recall my conversion to Christ,

And how it could have been otherwise,

Had I let myself been enticed.

Betimes we are found at the X-roads

Of the ways of wrong and right,

And the lures of both are equally strong

As a test of spiritual might.

The "X" in Xmas tells us that

To avoid our loving God's wrath,

We must take up our own "X" in life

And "X" over to His Son's path...

The good Lord taught in signs and parables

In His reign of yesteryear

Because He knew most people then

Would neither see nor hear.

Hence, the greatest sign from that has become

The saving sing of the "X,"

To remind us that life can be spiritual gain,

And not eternal loss!

When you're likewise sitting and praying in church,

And the usher comes down the aisle,

Just know that X-ing that plate with dollars

Will make the Master smile.

The reason for this, and for you to believe,

If you don't feel pocket-brash,

He certainly wants the credit,

But he also needs the cash!

It's the cash that builds His churches and schools,

And covers His servants' wage...

And provides for the poor and the destitute,

And God's children old in age.

For the wedding it pays, special meetings and such,

And the baptism of a new star,

And the final farewell of loved ones and friends

At their X-ing of the bar.

And when Santa Claus commercially comes

To all his nice girls and boys,

Let's help them, dear parents, to X-amine

Their needs for more than toys.

To help them to know when they see the word "Xmas"

And the cross is at a tilt,

That their growing-up lives are meant to be lived

With freedom from false sin and guilt.

That, mainly, that same "X" should teach us not

To be "X" with our fellow man,

That peace on earth and brotherhood

Is the ultimate in God's plan.

We're all waiting and praying for wonders untold

While the simple truth can be missed

That the greatest of wonders is this gift of life

This "now-time" in which we exist!

We take it all so much for granted, my friends,

Until we have a close call,

Then we suddenly see the Power Divine

That can even death forestall!

For example, I X-ed my name off that flight

'Cause something within me said,

The plane would never complete the trip

That all aboard would be dead!

And lo, in the news the very next day,

It had sadly come to pass,

For the headlines stated that plane had crashed down,

And everyone perished en masse!

And all those miles I drove in my car

A-X America land

When belief in the so-called Son-ship of God

Spared my life by His merciful hand.

Like the time I was driving and rapidly nearing

A railroad X-ing place,

And a vision, I swear, of God's hand surged up,

So I quickly slowed my pace.

Just at that moment a train I'd not seen

Came speedily, rumbling by,

And I knew that I'd been spared again

By something much greater than I!

Could I ever forget His birthday? No!

I'm reminded by too many things

To "X" from my priority list

That King of Immortal Kings!

We see in others and things what we are,

So when seeming fault you find,

If you worship in Spirit and not "word" alone,

Your master won't be your small mind.

And when the word "Christmas" with an "X" confuses

You by its fact or its myth,

Just know that what you're looking at

Is what you're looking with.

There's really just one thing to ponder, now,

That's Christ's struggle up Calvary,

As He slantedly carried that "X" all the way

Up that hill for you and me!

•-Thane Cornell is a Carson City dance instructor and choreographer.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Dec 22, 2012 03:11AM Published Dec 22, 2012 03:09AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.