So This Is Christmas


My thoughts for this Christmas. May the Peace of the Season be with your family and you throughout the season and the coming days.

——————————–

So this is Christmas? (“Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon)

So this is Christmas

And what have you done

Another year over

And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun

The near and the dear ones

The old and the young

{Refrain}

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let’s hope it’s a good one

Without any fear

And so this is Christmas War is over

For weak and for strong If you want it

For rich and the poor ones War is over

The road is so long Now

And so happy Christmas War is over

For black and for white If you want it

For yellow and red ones War is over

Let’s stop all the fight Now

{Refrain}

And so this is Christmas War is over

And what have we done If you want it

Another year over War is over

And a new one just begun Now

And so happy Christmas War is over

I hope you have fun If you want it

The near and the dear one War is over

The old and the young Now

{Refrain}

War is over if you want it

War is over now

Do they know it’s Christmas? (“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure)

It’s Christmastime,

there’s no need to be afraid

At Christmastime,

we let in light and we banish shade

And in our world of plenty

we can spread a smile of joy

Throw your arms around the world

at Christmastime

But say a prayer,

pray for the other ones

At Christmastime it’s hard,

but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window,

and it’s a world of dread and fear

Where the only water flowing

is the bitter sting of tears

And the Christmas bells that ring there

are the clanging chimes of doom

Well tonight thank God it’s them

instead of you

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime

The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life (Ooh)

Where nothing ever grows

No rain or rivers flow

Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Here’s to you raise a glass for everyone

Here’s to them underneath that burning sun

Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Feed the world

Feed the world

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmastime again

As I was thinking about this piece, I first thought of John Lennon’s Christmas song, “So This Is Christmas?” But I was reminded of another Christmas song that doesn’t get a lot of air play at this time of year. It was 1984 and there was a major famine in Ethiopia. Bob Geldof had heard about famine through a report on the BBC and decided to bring some of his musician friends and contacts together in order to raise funds for the famine relief. Unfortunately I couldn’t find out when or why John Lennon wrote his Christmas song.

But it is interesting, don’t you think, that we will constantly play John Lennon’s song, even with it’s anti-war overtones at the end, but we very seldom hear reminders that there are people in this world where Christmas is not a day of rejoicing or giving but rather just another day in which the struggle to get to the next day takes all your resources, all your time, and all your efforts.

What is Christmas supposed to be? Is it the culmination of four weeks of preparation and anticipation that is over on December 26th? Or is it the beginning of a new life for each one of us, a life filled with hope and promise?

The predominant theme each year at this time is not the birth of Christ and the coming salvation of mankind but rather the question as to whether or not businesses will make enough money in order to finish the year in a financially viable position. The birth of the Christ Child and the beginning of hope and promise for all mankind is almost an afterthought. Even the biggest churches in this country seem to think that having church services on Christmas Day is too much of a burden on their members, just because it happens to be a Sunday. Have we relegated Christ to the back of the room? Have we forgotten just why it was that Christ was born and why Christ came to us?

We spend all our time as if Christmas were the end of the season, the end of the year. When Christmas is over, we take down the tree, we put away the ornaments and the manager and we plan for the end of the year party. We seem to think that Christmas is the end, not the beginning.

But in the Gospel reading from John for today (John 1: 1 – 14) we are told that Christ was a part of this world from the beginning. So it is that we should see this day not as an end to the time but a beginning of time. John the Baptist was sent, not as a harbinger of the end time but rather as the prophet of the new. Those that come to know Christ will find a new world before them.

As the writer of Hebrews tells us (Hebrews 1: 1 – 4), God sent his prophets to tell us of the days when Christ would be among us. Are not these those times? Why is it that so many people want these to be the end times, the times when the world comes to an end? A child is born in Bethlehem; this child will bring goodness to the world, light in the darkness, and this child will bring righteousness and justice for all. These do not sound like the end times to me; they sound more like a beginning.

Did not the shepherds leave the manger that night to tell others of the joy and hope that was present that night? Did not the three wise men return home differently than they came? Are not these signs of a new beginning? Are not these the signs that we should begin anew?

Like the prophet Isaiah, we should celebrate this day. We should break forth into singing for even among the dreariness that marks our days, we have the sign that God has comforted His people. (Isaiah 52: 7 – 10)

Yes, this is Christmas and we should celebrate this day as the new beginning that it represents. We should open our days and allow all mankind to be a part of this wonderful and glorious day. Like the shepherds who came to the manger the night before, we should take the message of the birth of Christ, once in a stable but now in our hearts, out into the world. There are those out there who will not get to rejoice in this day, not because they do not know but because the world has made it impossible for them to do so. When we leave church this morning, we take with us the light of Christ in our hearts. Let us take this light out into the world so that others will also know that there is joy and hope and peace in this world. Let us take the light of Christ out into the world so that everyone does know that this truly is Christmas and Christ is born.

4 thoughts on “So This Is Christmas

  1. Pingback: Christmas, 2009 « Thoughts From The Heart On The Left

  2. Pingback: The True Gift of Christmas « Thoughts From The Heart On The Left

  3. Pingback: “A Single Light – The Light of Christ” | Thoughts From The Heart On The Left

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.