for Christmas and all the Year

Christmas Message


Still in royal Davids' cities
Stand the lowly slums and sheds
Where the mothers lay their babies
In mangy makeshifts for their beds.
With the poor and mean and lowly
Live and die the saviours holy.

Oh come all ye faithful
Thoughtful and repentant
Come ye O come ye to Dafur, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, the Pacific Islands, Central America, Bangladesh, Somalia, Sudan, Ethipia, Kossovo, Angola, Tibet, Timor, Java, Bali, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Irian Jawa, Sellafield, Malekula, the famine lands, the flood lands, the war lands, the fired earth, the mined earth, the stolen earth, the desert earth,

Come and behold
What desolation we have made of the world.

The three kings brought gifts of gold, of opiates, and of land mines; symbols of wealth and oppression and death; but they could not bear to part with them, and went away sorrowful, taking their gifts with them.

Jingle tills jingle tills jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to pay
And pay and pay and pay.

Hark, the herald angels sing
Stop all this commercial thing,
Peace on earth is still defiled
God is still unreconciled.

Impassioned all ye nations rise
Seize the gospel from the skies
With the angelic host proclaim
Good will yet reach Bethlehem,
Anguished herald angels sing
Of Peace the Child was meant to bring.

Silent night, holy night,
The frost is cold, the snow is white,
Over the path of the refugees.

Are the bells ringing or are they tolling?

The Prince was a bastard. Reputed ancestors were a line of unintimidated women, the rebel Eve, mocking Sarah, cheating Rebekah, incestuous Tamar, traitorous prostitute Rahab, alien immigrant Ruth, wronged Bathsheba. The baby grew up persecuted, homeless, unemployed, mixed with riff-raff, unsound, slightly mad, political prisoner, killed off in a killing field.

Now wrapped in gift-wrap and the Saviour of retailers. Gifts for them who have, and nothing for them who have nothing. Bought for thirty pieces of silver at Christmas and thrown out in three days.

Then let us all with one accord
Take the smothered gospel of this Lord,
Who held share options as of naught,
Whose blood still stains the gifts we've bought
As fresh it pours from murdered innocents.

The last Nowell the angels may say
Is listen, it's our last chance.


Now rise you joyful, gentle all,
Let nothing you dismay
Just dont you be distracted
From the meaning of this Day
That hope and faith and love are still
Alive in a world astray

As long as there are hands that work,
And not just mouths that say.

that say.                                                

  Peace on earth needs goodwill from all men