Over the last few Christmases John and Yoko’s Merry Xmas (War is Over) has become my favorite Christmas carol. It asks us all, do we want to live in peace?
As I’m writing this blog post, I’m sitting and watching Braveheart with some friends. I love a good, violent war movie as much as the next Y chromosome, but I can’t help but think that even the most inspiring heroism of war is a twisted misrepresentation of the promise that came into earth at the birth of Jesus Christ.
In our world, we can’t seem to get out of Iraq or Afghanistan. I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck. I know people who are sleeping on the streets and in mud huts. The best that our most creative minds can imagine is blue cat-monkey people fighting our wars for us. It’s hard to imagine the truth of Christmas:
War is over.
If you want it.
I have chosen to trust the counter-intuitive promise of the gospel: a Jewish child, born the son of oppressed peasants in a cave full of animals, is the Prince of Peace. His birth heralds the end of all wars. I want it.
Believing in this prince means living in and for peace: seeking peace between within yourself, and between you, God, and your world.
As you come together for Christmas this year, you have to ask “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?” By next year, I hope answer: “I lived for peace.”
And so this is Christmas (War is over)
For weak and for strong (If you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (War is over)
The world is so wrong (Now)
And so Happy Christmas (War is over)
For black and for white (If you want it)
For yellow and red ones (War is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (Now)
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear