Sunday, December 25, 2016

Love Trumps Hate

I have been composing an annual Christmas carol since 2001, when I wrote, "A Stable, a Manger, a Star in the Sky," inspired by Alfred Burt's lovely "Star Carol." This year, as I sat down at the piano on Christmas Eve, the phrase "Love Trumps Hate" was foremost in my mind.

Like many who lived through the U.S. presidential elections of 2016, I am afraid. I fear for my three sons, who will all be draft age during President-Elect Trump's first term. I fear for myself and my daughter, as we struggle to come to terms with the fact that we live in a nation that is still dominated by the patriarchy, a country where the highest elected official in our country can boast casually about sexually assaulting women. I fear for my students, many of whom are refugees who came to this country fleeing unspeakable horror, or who were brought to this country as children and now face the prospect of being forced to leave the only home they have every known. Most of all, I fear for our country and its promise of freedom, now subjugated to a twisted and evil white supremacist interpretation of Christianity that rejects the stranger and marginalizes the other. 

But love trumps hate, and love trumps fear. That is the message of hope we have at Christmas in 2016 and beyond. Merry Christmas! 

On a hillside in Judea 
On a silent sacred night 
Shepherds heard the angels singing 
And they saw the new star's light 

In a manger lies a baby 
Sent in love to all the earth. 
Let us celebrate our Savior 
And the wonder of his birth.  

God is with us still today. 
We can hear the angels say: 

He came for love! 
He came for love! 
He came for love of you and me. 
He came for love! 
He came for love! 
And his love will make us free. 

Now the world is full of hatred 
And the night seems dark and long. 
No one seeks the humble manger. 
No one hears the the angels' song.  

But the good news still can save us
If we only stop to hear. 
We must learn to love like Jesus, 
And our love will conquer fear. (Chorus)