Raise, Raise a Song on High
What child is this, who laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
Jesus of Nazareth was born in a land occupied by foreign soldiers, he lived among the poor, he was one of them, he saw their suffering and would not be silent about it, he knew why they were exploited and who was responsible for it. He told the truth about power and those who abuse it, about wealth and those who hoard it, about war and those who wage it, about injustice and those who inflict it.
So he was silenced. Arrested, put on trial, and executed.
On this Christmas Eve, abuse of power is pervasive, the moneychangers control entire governments, deceit is on a rampage, the halls of justice are dark and empty, tens of millions of people have no job, hundreds of millions of children are hungry. This is not a silent night, it is not a holy night. Oppression is not silent and depravity is not holy. . . .
Chris Hedges . . .
The powerful protect their own, they divide the world into the damned and the blessed, the patriots and the enemy, the privileged and the weak. They insist that extinguishing lives in foreign wars, and in our prison complexes, is a form of human progress. They cannot see that the suffering of a child in Kandahar, or a child in the blighted urban pocket of our nation’s capital, diminishes and impoverishes us all. They are deaf, dumb and blind.
All is not calm, all is not bright, there is no calm, there is no light. Evil is on the march, westward leading, still proceeding, onward down the roads of night. The world does not in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing, it waits in the darkness, in fear of what’s coming next.
Chris Hedges . . .
Defenseless under the night, our world in stupor lies, yet dotted everywhere, ironic points of light flash out, wherever the just exchange their messages. May I, composed like them of eros and of dust, beleaguered by the same negation and despair, show an affirming flame.
Composed of eros and dust, beleaguered by negation and despair, we exchange our messages here, while politicians exchange messages with bankers, issue decrees of austerity, and expect silent obedience. But there will be no silence, there will be no obedience to criminals or their messengers. A song of Justice will be raised on High, the words of that anthem will be sung in the valleys of the oppressed, affirming voices will join in and raise it higher, until the mountaintops ring with it, until the whole world will hears it.