And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
An iconic song from 1971, but it’s taken me until now to get to grips with its relevance to Christmas.
Ok, so I know there’s all the very merry Christmas bits, but what about war is over? When we look around it’s clear that war is far from over. Not only are there still ongoing battles, but it looks very likely there will be more to come in 2019.
Yet perhaps I’ve been looking at this all wrong. War is over, if you want it. I’m sure the majority of us want war to be over, but at what cost. What are we prepared to sacrifice in our everyday lives to live a life characterised by peace? Are we ready to make war over with others in our own lives? Finished. A truce declared.
Listening to the song again I begin to see its relevance to Christmas. Another year over, and a new one just begun. Christmas is a time when our year draws to a close and we think about the beginning of a new year. The opportunity for us to start again. The gift of Christmas is the opportunity for us to experience a new life.
Approaching the song from this perspective war is over becomes a challenge to the conflicts we have with others on a personal level. Are we prepared to make the sacrifice of our own pride and self-righteousness to declare war is over in our own lives?
It’s a hard call, but as always, we see some ideas for how to do this in the song. Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear. Fear is the first thing to go if we want to make a change. We often fear the reaction of others, and their difference to us. The song reminds us that there is so much difference, both in regards to diversity and inequality, in the world. Yet the challenge is laid; Let’s stop all the fight.
And guess what? If we could only accept the challenge to put to bed our own personal conflicts, maybe, just maybe, there might be a hope for an end to war on a more global scale.
And so this is Christmas, what will you do?