I’ll keep this short as it’s basically my bedtime…
Jesus Christ is back!
Joining me, once again, on this small rivulet of the internet, to answer a whole bunch of questions.
Ask Jesus: A Very Christmas Mailbag
(A special festive edition of Ask Jesus: A Very Liturgical Mailbag… ah, that thing I did a few months ago over here.)
And so, without further ado: Jesus, it’s over to You.
JC: Hello again! Welcome to this festive edition of my Very Liturgical Mailbag (something I’ve decided to call A Very Christmas Mailbag!). Let’s just dive right in, shall we – and see what treats postman Santa bought me in his giant sack of mail…
What’s the best Christmas song? (John Motson, Salford)
JC: Well, let’s just say you can take this as ‘gospel’ – it is, and always will be, Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues.
But, while we’re on the subject, clearly every home should also make a little room for Phil Spector’s Christmas album, too. (Yeah, I know he went mad and shot someone… but, hey, forgive and forget, right?)
There’s a lot of party-poopers around at this time of year, aren’t there, who don’t ‘do’ Christmas. You know, Muslims, Buddhists, Sheiks, Jews, Hindus, Shintos, atheists, etc… They all think we’re wrong to believe in you, and, obviously, we think they’re all wrong for thinking that. Silly question, maybe, but who’s right? (Clive Tyldesley, Bury)
JC: You’re right! Christians are right! Definitely. What can I say? Believe all the hype. I really am the child of a virgin. I really am the divine son of God. I really did cure people of leprosy, walk on water, and perform other miracles. And – hallelujah, Clive! – I really did come back to life after dying.
I mean, really, why’s all of that so hard for some folks to believe/ACCEPT COMPLETELY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY at face value? Beats me (crucification pun not intended).
Did you used to call Joseph “dad?” How was that for you both? (Jonathan Pearce, Plymouth)
JC: Gee, that’s a great question – but, truth be told, I’m not quite sure how ready I am to answer that. It was hard for him sometimes not to be Him, if you know what I mean… I will say this, though, only one of my dads ever took me fishing at the weekends – and that’s not nothing… I don’t know, I’m still working through a few ‘issues,’ to be honest with you, and this really is a big one for me.
Can today’s Church exert any real moral authority on the tricky subject of teenage pregnancy given that You Yourself were the offspring of such a young mother (some say as young as 12, right)? (Peter Brackley, Brighton)
JC: Wow, tough mailbag today… but sure, yeah, why not. After all, you have to remember that times were very different back then. For example, women were not always seen as equals. And people from different backgrounds didn’t always get along. Heck, back when I was a boy, sometimes even religion itself was the source of conflict! Hard to imagine now, I know, but true. So like I said, why not?
Which of the following words makes you feel the most ‘Christmassy?’ Carol. Pudding. Humbug. Manger. Santa. Chestnut. Bauble. Tinsel. Sales. Wenceslas. Frankfurter. (Simon Brotherton, Birmingham)
JC: Hmmm. Well it definitely isn’t ‘frankfurter,’ you fucking weirdo! So I’ll go for ‘bauble,’ with ‘pudding’ a close second. Or maybe ‘chestnut…’ Or ‘santa.’ I don’t know: shit question methinks.
Who was the smartest of the three wise men? (Jon Champion, Harrogate)
JC: Hard to say. I was still very young when they paid me their special visit.
…Then again, years later I did hear on the grapevine that Melchior, the Babylonian ‘scholar,’ was actually as thick as two short planks. Apparently, it was only ever supposed to be two wise men – but then someone, ‘behind the scenes,’ decided that would sound “a bit gay.” Who knows? Sometimes I buy it, sometimes I don’t… Think about, though, it really was a much more conservative time back then, so maybe it’s not so far-feached after all. (These days, of course, the Church wouldn’t even dream of discriminating against homosexuality.)
What’s the best Christmas movie? (Peter Drury, Hertfordshire)
JC: It’s a Wonderful Life and Home Alone. I couldn’t separate those two with a fag paper… and I’m Jesus. That’s how great those movies are.
Did you hear that the Times Online have cancelled The Bugle, their weekly satirical podcast. The news hasn’t exactly filled me with Christmas cheer. Any chance you could resurrect it? Or, you know, get your dad to. (Gary Taphouse, Surrey)
JC: I’m gonna have to say ‘no’ to that, I’m afraid. Point of principal: co-host Andy Zaltzman is a Jew… When he’s ready to let me into his life, then maybe we can talk.
Why does Rudolph always get all the credit? (Martin Tyler, Chester)
JC: Because isn’t that just the age we live in, cult of celebrity and all.
Should the English Premier League consider having a break over the Christmas period, as many other European Leagues successfully do? (Sandi Toksvig, Copenhagen)
JC: Absolutely not. The frenetic scramble for goals and points over the festive season is a tremendous advert for the English game – and one of many reasons why the EPL is such a thrilling thing to follow. Especially, of course, whenever my favourite team Arsenal are playing.