December 27, 2005

It's Christmas time

A song that moved me a lot during the 80’s was a song that was played only during Christmas but ought to have been played all year long.

Do they know it’s Christmas?
(Bob Geldoff)

1. It’s Christmas time,
There’s no need to be afraid.
At Christmas time,
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 Christmas time

2. But say a prayer,
Pray for the “other ones”
At Christmas time, 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
Tonight, thank God it’s them
Instead of you.

3. And there won’t be snow in Africa
This Christmas time
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Here’s to you: raise a glass to everyone
Here’s to them: underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Feed the world!
Let them know it’s Christmas time!

This was done in November of 1984 by a super collection of superstars from the eurorock industry: Sting, Bono, U2, Bob Geldoff, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Phil Collins, Midge Ure and Ultravox, Duran Duran, Boy George and Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, Style Council, Eurythmics, George Michael and Andrew Ridgley, Bananarama and others. They called themselves Band Aid and they set out to make a difference and bring about change. It debuted at number 1 in the charts and raised a ton of money for aid to Africa. It also spawned copycats like the mediocre "USA for Africa" with the quasi-imperialistic sounding We are the World.

This Christmas, I heard this song again; and, as in the 80s and every year it has been played, it moved me, again--to think, to reflect, to question, to pray, to take action.

There’s only one mention of God in the entire song—“tonight, thank God it’s them instead of you—but reflecting on the song's message--eloquently written by a rock star--God’s hand and Spirit permeate the song. It speaks eloquently of love, it speaks courageously of giving, it speaks sincerely of making a stand and wanting to make a difference. All of these speak of God; all of these speak of God’s truth: that God, who loved us first, wants us to be able to love others back.

Almost twenty years after that song was written and first played, that line still haunts, do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

We still find ourselves in a land of indifference, apathy, hate and intolerance. We still find ourselves in a world that prizes getting ahead at all costs rather than loving with all your heart, your mind, your soul, your strength.

We may not be able to feed the hungry in Africa; we may not be able to write songs as eloquent or poetic as this. But we can certainly do something: give of ourselves in the best way we know how; share of ourselves generously; speak from our hearts of the love that God has shown us; proclaim from our experience the many blessings that God has showered us with; and bring many others to the one inescapable truth: Christmas is about love, the love of God for His people; a love so concrete and so personally and intimately manifested in Jesus’s choice to be born to and of man and to die as and for man—for each and every one of us.

Do they know it’s Christmas?
Do you know it’s Christmas?

"And in our world of plenty, we can share a smile of joy;
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time."

Happy Christmas! Share. Give. Act. Love.

No comments: