A Christmas Psalm

Christmas came early this year, Lord,
Not only in the singing of "Silent Night,"
but in the singing of "Nkosi Sikelel'i Africa"
from the Parliament steps in Cape Town.

Christmas came early this year, Lord,
Not only in the little town of Bethlehem,
but in Gaza, Nablus, and Jericho
where throwing-stones are becoming cornerstones.

Christmas came early this year, Lord,
Not only in the strains of angels' hymns,
but in the peace-hungry harmonies of "O Come,
All Ye Faithful" in the neighborhoods of
Belfast, Derry, and Armagh.

Lift up your heads in Port Au Prince,
in Sarajevo, and Sudan,
in East Timor and East LA!
Lift up your heads,
for your morning stars shall also rise!

This we know O Lord,
Christmas comes early
or it comes late,
but it does come.

It comes at the bus stop.
It comes at the gas station.
It comes in the soup line.
It comes in the middle of the night.

Christmas comes when our eyes
wash clear with tears
at the sweet tenderness of God.

It comes in that still moment
when we lay down our whole lives
in a small, chilly manger
warmed only by the hearts of the lowly,
and know with perfect joy
that we are home.

O come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Amen.

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Sojourners Magazine December 1994-January 1995
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