Come all good Christian men rejoice and only us,
Forgetting all the children who like to rejoice
And have stockings, balloons, toys and dolls
And eat till they can eat no more and go laughing to bed.
We really cannot have that bit of fenced-off heaven,
Living there smugly complacent because we are the chosen.
There are so many out there who are quite entitled to share
Any heaven that is available because they are people.
They are humans who are warm, kind, loving and forgiving,
They would like a piece of the goodies we have in abundance;
The food we burn, the food we pay farmers not to produce –
Yes, we do that to a starving world because of trade imbalance.
A pox on your trade imbalance when little children starve –
When a supplementary meal is an extra dish of watery gruel
Fortified with mineral additives – not rice bubbles,
Corn flakes and Wheaties swimming in milk and honey.
What shall it profit a man to lay up treasures on earth
Where moth and rust do corrupt and thieves break in and steal;
When little children could learn living and laughter easily
With just a little spared from the richest bounty ever known.
A rich bounty known to so few and mostly good Christian men,
Or the nominal C of E which ‘does’ for so many of us –
Loving and giving, charity, kindness and a plea for fair play
It is children who need this, want this and must have it by right.
Children, and now we know how many are sexually abused HERE,
And sickeningly how many babies are thus used and abused.
Nasty isn’t it? Like all those stick children on TV,
And we didn’t make it up you know, they are all for real.
Reality that beggars belief and description, horror on horror –
Our civilised veneer is so thin that it is easy for the savage
To make havoc of our sophistication and bring us down –
Perhaps we are deserving of the holocaust to come.
For how long will the poor suffer and starve and go without,
While we in our arrogant greed don’t give a twopenny damn.
Yes, it’s Christmas and we are all full of goodwill aren’t we?
But how much are we going to care about the other children?
What can I do, I am but one lone voice in the wilderness –
Rubbish, when will we learn that it is only one person
Who cares, and cries and makes a fuss who changes the world,
Not an army marching, but one calling out on injustice.
We have so much power to do good, each and every one of us
If we will say what we want to happen, more good things
For the poor and lonely, the sad and feckless, the unloved
Then perhaps our Christmas will not be hollow as we think of them.
It’s always US and THEM, but would it really matter that much
If we had a little less, so they could have a little more?
The little more to them would be riches untold because
Something more than nothing has to count for such a lot.
Such a little world, so tiny and brave from space –
The ‘we’ are the few who are technologically aware –
For the poor of Africa, South America, India and Asia –
All they truly want to know ‘whence cometh my next meal?’
For the poor there is still ‘no room at the Inn’
For the child there is still a manger and swaddling clothes
For wise men and shepherds still a baby to worship and adore
For Herod death in some ugly form or other for children.
So Good Christian men rejoice, that in Royal David’s city
The child was born, the shepherds watched their flocks,
The Herald angels sang, the first Nowell broke o’er the land
What ye do to the least of these, ye do unto me. Happy Christmas!