• Baby Jesse in the Manger

    • Posted on Dec 20, 2015

    Here's this morning's (12-20) Waterloo Courier column on what might have been,  

    Every December Christians honor the babe in the manger, and even non-Christians have to admit it’s compelling and memorable.

    It pits the meek against the mighty, poor against the rich, outcasts against insiders. Oh yes, and the founding of a world religion.

    It’s so powerful that no one thinks twice about recycling it every year.  The same ought to go for alternative versions.  Here’s my revised Christmas story that I freely adapted years ago from Matthew and Luke.

    Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for this which is conceived in her is of the holy spirit.”

    “She will bear a son or daughter and you shall call his or her name Jesus or Jesse, for he or she will save his or her people from their sins.”  

    While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to be delivered.  Lo and behold, Mary gave birth to their first-born daughter, wrapped her in swaddling clothes and laid her in a manger.  There was no soft crib because there was no place in the inn for such refugees.  

    Following the angels’ suggestion, she named her blessed daughter Jesse.


    Now in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone all about them.  The shepherds were sore afraid.  

    And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Jesse the Queen.

     “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

    When the angels went away into heaven the shepherds said to one another, “A little girl, our savior?  Can this be?”

    “A female savior? A lady Lord?  Women can birth saviors, but they cannot be one.   Everyone knows that!”

    They went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph.  Soon they looked with wonder on the babe lying in the manger.  And they made known that which they had heard concerning this child.  All the people wondered at what the shepherds told them.

     Then the shepherds were no longer sore afraid.  They were just plain sore. 

     “What happened to the days when only boys could be saviors?  Has any girl ever become anything but a wife, an old maid, or a witch?”

    The shepherds went home, thinking the real savior had not yet been born.  “Probably some maverick angels,” one of them mumbled.

     Along the way, they met three wise men who had heard the news.  The shepherds stopped them, saying, “Turn back. Save your frankincense and myrrh. Wait until the real savior comes along. This one’s only a baby girl named Jesse.”

     And Mary, mother of Jesse, pondered all these things in her heart.

     “What if little Jesse had been born a boy?” she wondered, after she and Joseph had returned home.  “Would he have been worshiped as a real savior?”

    Mary prayed nightly that if her daughter Jesse had any special powers she would keep them to herself.  Little boys with special powers became saviors, founders of great religions. 

     Little girls with special powers were burned as witches.

    Baby Jesse grew into wonderful woman, a friend to all in need, wise beyond her years, and deeply beloved.  Thanks to her mother’s wise teaching, she never used her miraculous powers, and never married.

    Jesse lived and died in obscurity.

    Meanwhile, all around the world, wise men kept waiting for the real savior
    Merry Christmas, everyone. 


    Go comment!
    Posted in
    • Religiosity
    • satire
    • Christmas
  • The Cedar Valley Acoustic Guitar Association

    • Posted on Dec 19, 2015
    Just finished an e-book:  "Playing Real Good for Free: The Cedar Valley Acoustic Guitar Association," and it's available for free at the BLURB website; I created it using 
    Blurb's "Bookwright" software.  

    As of today, 12-19-15:  This link works for a download onto MAC OS devices--iphone, iPad, Macs, and Ibooks.   Take a look: 


    This was and is an experiment in taking photos and creating a photo essay, and 
    there was a helluva learning curve.  Now that I know a little, will keep trying.  

    Here's the cover photo of Uncle Chuck:  

    Go comment!
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“Even before the advent of the Internet, Cawelti’s columns went 'viral' in the Cedar Valley… the role of a columnist is to be thought provoking, to take tacks that shed a different light on an issue or possibly cause a reader to reevaluate a position. At the very least, it should bring clarity to a particular perspective, whether you buy into the commentator’s worldview or not.

Scott's work does just that.  Enjoy this collection of his writing.”

-Saul Shapiro, Former Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Editor
Read Shapiro's entire introduction.


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