What if angels were just people having generous days
and the realms of glory were all the world's corners from which they came
and the night was silent 'cause no one was crying out in loneliness or pain?
What if coming home for christmas meant you never had to run again
and no bombs dropped and there really were good kings
and all ye faithful came together while having faith in different things.
What if the most wonderful day of the year
was 'cause peace on earth was finally here
no matter what or where we sing
This is my resilient daydream
I call it: joy to the world
I have it all year long
while I make my way through the world
I am not that strong
I crumble often from the truth
like the fact that guns and bombs are still lawful things we use
and there's too much yet there's not enough food
and still the void we're aching with—the pain, the love, the wound
Meanwhile empty tables
meanwhile we sing carols preaching morals that we're scared of
we are wary more of strangers, giving gifts while building walls
It's a host of contradictions and Christmas won't fix it
I crave connection as I close off to it.
Can you see me?
Do you hear what I hear, it's the sadness of humanity
it's the basic human joy
it's the bonds thereof, it's the bombs of lost love
once we all have love enough — O holy night
And by the sun's returning shine I trust we will
in the meantime let us align our hearts with our goodwill
open arms for strangers seeking refuge in our midst
while welcoming our neighbours with love as well as gifts.
by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born,
and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour by the preaching of repentance:
lead us to repent according to his preaching and, after his example, constantly to speak the truth, boldly to rebuke evil, and patiently to suffer for the truth's sake;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Caravaggio, St John the Baptist in the Wilderness (c.1604-05). Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Wouter van Belle. Thou didst shine a light of truth. Hymn to St John the Baptist. Motet for mixed choir and organ. St. Joris Kamerkoor Amersfoort, cond. Bas Ramselaar.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.