‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

A prayer for peace in our divided nation

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through our land
the peace that was promised the kind that God planned
is missing in action. It’s shattered at best.
That peace lies in pieces. Our country’s a mess.

The homeless and hungry are begging for more
while addicts and crazies define a new war.
Though peace poles stand proudly, the words they convey
are hauntingly empty in the US of A.

There’s racial profiling and Hitler-like lies.
There’s mass shootings weekly and random drive-bys.
There’s terrorist plotting and demonized wills.
There’re bullies on playgrounds and Capitol Hill.

There’s sexual scandal and white collar crime
where bribing admissions finds folks doing time.
And Christians are blasted for what they believe
while atheists manage to get a reprieve.

To say “Merry Christmas” might likely offend
your colleagues at work or your secular friends.
So we are encouraged to guard what we say
and be most generic. “Have a nice holiday!”

With stars, lights and carols and trees all around,
you’d think it is Christmas but sadly I’ve found
Christ’s birth is divisive. Singing Silent Night
can put off somebody who’s looking to fight.

Joy to the World? Think again. Hold your tongue.
The prophet’s peace promised has hardly begun.
We’re a nation in darkness still longing for light.
A nation in conflict. Perpetual night.

A people divided. Impeachment and hate.
Much partisan rancor and endless debate.
Immigration, abortion and the death penalty,
same-sex unions and climate, end-of-life dignity.
The issues are endless. The fire won’t cease.
Taking aim is so easy. Do we truly want peace?

Ah, yes. We hate fighting. Fighting kills us inside.
What we truly desire is arms opened wide
to welcome the stranger. To love like we’ve been.
To offer acceptance from which friendship stems.

The names of Messiah that came with his birth
include what we long for… Shalom here on earth.
Your government, Yahweh, Your Kingdom prevail.
May You counsel with wonder. Mighty God, do it well.
Father, most everlasting cause our conflicts to cease.
Mingle mercy with justice. That’s our prayer, Prince of Peace.

Calm the storms that still threaten. Tame our tensions within
that trigger dissention ‘tween women and men.
And may warring religions that claim they are right
learn to listen and learn from rather than argue and fight.

Breathe Your Spirit upon us. Prince of Peace, Lord of Love,
warm our hearts with Your presence. Make us most mindful of
Your Kingdom of kindness. Be our Ruler and King.
Majesty, we pay homage even now as we sing…

For You alone are worthy.
For You alone are worthy.
For You alone are worthy, Christ the Lord.