One of my favorite Christmas songs is, “Star-Child,” words by Shirley Erena Murray and based on the gospel of Matthew 2:1-12. It is found in “The Faith We Sing” #2095 with music by Carlton R. Young. The second verse is, “Street child, beat child, no place left to go, hurt child, used child, no one want to know,”
Our hearts ache this Christmas because too many of the world’s children are described by those words. Our hearts are heavy because so many in our nation are experiencing deep sadness and grief from events and reactions that tear at the fabric of our relationships with each other. Our hearts go out to those who feel beaten down by prejudice and racism, and to those hurt and misused, whose very being is ignored as those ‘no one want to know.’
BUT, into our messed up, angry, conflicted world, neighborhoods, families, and individual lives, comes the Star Child: “Hope-for-peace Child, God’s stupendous sign, down-to-earth Child, Star of stars that shine.” How will we receive the Star Child? With whom will we share the message of hope the Child has come to share? Where will we go to bring healing and joy to people? When will we find peace in our hearts and communities?
At least the beginning of the answer to our questions is found in the refrain: “This year, this year, let the day arrive when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!” This is our mission, our purpose, our task: To share the Star Child’s message of hope, healing, joy, and peace with our neighbors near and far in what we say and what we do.
May it be for all of us, Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!
Hee-Soo Jung, PhD
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).