Heart  of the Church

Christmas Cheer 2023

Christ in the RubbleChrist in the Rubble, by Kelly Latimore

Silent Night, we glibly sang,
Proclaiming all is calm,
while guns and tanks
crushed holy lands,
dealt death to babes in arms.

We wrapped our gifts,
they wrapped their dead.
We cried with joy
they wailed
and grieved
and railed at loss on loss
and mourned.

“Peace to all” our leaders prayed,
We boomed our creed's Amen;
while all the while their fence-perched votes
and self-served deals
gave licence to untrammelled power
and silenced truth
and banished justice
for people yet again betrayed

Who then will now lead lion and lamb
to lie at peace, at-oned,
to fashion would-be bombs to ploughs
as holy books foretold?
How birth a peace that’s just for all,
How forge a two-fold home?
For we, though sensing Light still choose
the path of dark,
and, out of sight, appease the yolk that binds
and breaks
And shackles those who claim their space

And so our festive halls resound
Our bells ring out good cheer
While revenge-fuelled planes rain death and waste
And Might intones its hate-blind verse
At herded pawns cast out as “other”
Robbed of hope and voice and right
Though they too long to walk in light
and dream of love, and land and peace.

And once again a voice is heard
of weeping and great mourning
Of Rachel grieving for her children
Refusing to be consoled

For they are no more…

Ann Smith,
28th December 2023
Feast of the Holy Innocents