“By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion
On the willows we hung our harps
For there our captors asked us for songs,
And our tormentors asked for mirth,
Saying sings for one of the Lord’s songs’
How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
Jesus and the song you wrote
The words are sticking in my throat
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won't rhyme
So what's it worth
This peace on Earth
A song by the way not of losing faith in the Christ of Christmas but a prayer that the peace of the angels song would become manifest in our world.
The reason for the joy and the answer to the grief and questions come from the songs from that original Christmas.
Maybe not the overt and deep lyrics of modern pop tunes ‘Oh baby I love you… baby. But a depth of love that is a light that shines in the dark.
The faithful love of God that God should keep his promises to his people and send them a saviour. A deep love that God should see Mary and humanity in our lowley state and show us his mercy and favour in Jesus Christ.. Become one us, dwell in our midst and offer us eternal and abundant life with him… God has shown us his extravagant over the top undeserved love in forgiveness and new life. It’s worth singing about.
That God has been and is at work in our history and circumstances as a planet and individuals to bring his light and his justice and mercy to reign in the midst of our world. The hungry shall receive good things and the lowly shall be lifted up. Those who have exploited power and wealth in this world will not be stealing away more than their share of God’s kingdom. It’s worth singing about
For the Jews Peace as not just the lack of conflict and war or a silent night peace with the child not crying at night or that feeling of wellbeing you get lazing by the pool or the beach during well deserved holidays. Rather for the Jews peace was shalom which meant wholeness living with right relationships. A right relationship with God: Because of the Child born at Christmas we can have peace with God. In Jesus life and death we can come to know God as our heavenly father. Also a right relationship with each other, loving one another as I have loved you as Jesus said and love your enemies. Simeon’s song proclaims that we would be bought together across the great divides of culture and race, in his day epitomised by the divided between Jew and gentile. In Christ to become brothers and sister adopted into God’s people.