Twinkle Twinkle

You know when you’ve heard a song ten thousand times it seems, and then you’re sitting all still and quiet.  And its been a busy week.  And you listen to that song again and its like the first time?




Something changes.  Somewhere within you something transforms. 


O Holy Night just did that to me.

I’ve heard it every year countless times since I was a kid but it’s never struck me like this before.  Something perhaps about living in Cambodia, with poverty, inequity and injustice glaring realities, O Holy Night has become one of the most powerful calls to action and faith and love that I’ve ever heard.


Oh Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining. 

It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth. 

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining

Till he appeared and the soul found its worth.


A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices

for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

fall on your knees.

oh hear the angel voices.

oh night.  divine.  oh night. 


truly he taught us

to love one another

his law is love and his gospel is peace.

chains shall he break.

for the slave is a brother.

and in his name all oppression shall seize.


sweet hymns of hope in grateful chorus raise we. 

let all that’s in us praise his holy name. 

christ is the lord.  oh praise his name forever.

his power and glory. ever more proclaim.


And so this Christmas Eve, I’m thinking about the revolutionary Christ.  The God-Man who came in peace and brought hope and redemption to the poor, the oppressed, and yes, the rich and powerful as well (thank goodness because being white and middle class and from North America I am both rich and powerful according to international standards). 

I’m thinking about all of this knowing that I’ll drive by a factory today and probably see a flood of young women entering and exiting.  Shift change.  And I’ll know that they’re making about $50 a month so that us in the west can have clothes in abundance for cheap, just how we like it.


And I know that I’ll see construction workers hammering and building and erecting apartment blocks and offices, and tonight – on Christmas Eve – the only place they’ll have to lay their head is on a hammock strung between two pillars that they just built today. 


And I’ll be thinking about this song as I see government workers and the wealthy driving in Land Cruisers and Jaguars and Mercedes and Lexus’, and expats living a life of luxury while living in the land of the poor. 


And I’ll think about me.  About how in my own life I follow the rules of the law without love.  How it’s easier to classify people as haves and have nots and smooze with those I’m comfortable with instead of recognizing the have nots as my brothers and sisters.  So this song is for me too.  Cause the first thing to do is bow my knees and, with all that’s in me, ask most the most Holy One to transform me.


A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices

for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.



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