The newspaper brings nothing new
only an old, old story of war—
more bombing, more shooting, more bloodshed.
One more family wailing a funeral song.
Against the backdrop of brutal images,
we hear the old, old story of an angel with good news,
who brought good tidings of great joy for all people.
Angel of Bethlehem, we long to hear your song again this day.
We want good tidings for countries in crisis.
We want good tidings for people who long to govern themselves.
We want good tidings for soldiers caught in webs of violence.
We want good tidings for all who grieve, and who see no end to grieving.
We want good tidings for terrorists whose actions spread fear and anguish.
We want good tidings for ordinary people who long to live in peace.
We want good tidings for children, who long to inherit a country
where peace has blossomed.
Jesus, our Saviour,
you escaped Herod’s best-laid plans.
May your Spirit of peace be born again this year
in the hearts of all who work for peace. Amen.