What have they done to the “Little Town”?
Imprisoned it in a concrete wall
Bethlehem – once a holy city
Trapped inside a ghetto wall.
Here where angels sang of peace
Where love and hope were born anew
Once surrounded by a heavenly host
Now surrounded by a concrete view.
Yet people crushed and hidden away
Still celebrate on Christmas Eve
Lighting candles for the child –
They still remember – still believe.
So light a candle this Holy Night
For Bethlehem and Beit Sahour
And for all the people caught inside
That cold and grey prison wall
Longing for a world of peace
Where all are treated equally
Where all can recognise their worth
Where all can live with dignity –
Where all can join hands with neighbours
Whether Muslim, Christian or Jew
And find a way to live together
Making Holy dreams
Making Holy dreams come true.
O God, from the heart of Bethlehem
From the heart of occupied land
You have sent a message
To shake the world
Thank you for the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem
That gives so many clues as to your character
In the birth of this child we discover a spirituality
Of hope, peace, justice
Thank you that a child born in simplicity
Amongst a poor community
Speaks of the values of the way of peace
Thank you that you are a God of the poor
Those for whom there is no room
And that’s why this is a way of life and a theology
That gives such hope
Because no one is forgotten
May we hear the call
And live out the lifestyle
That helps to build a community
That reflects this alternative way
Of a loving God
A community of justice
That asserts simplicity
And the worth of every human being
Thank you that you are a humble, generous God
Who stopped to show us the way of love
Garth Hewitt writes redemption songs
and then sings them without fear.
His voice comes through clearly,
challenging us by his witness to act for justice. His is a brave voice,
needed more than ever in a fearful world, and in a sometimes timid church.
Please God, it will help us
sing redemption songs of our own.
The Revd Lucy Winkett
Rector, St James’s Piccadilly
previous Chair of Trustees of Amos Trust