Thank you to Frances Allen for providing this thought-provoking take on the popular carol.
Frances writes: As we enter the Christmas season and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem let us remember the Christians (the few that are left) and the difficult and oppressed lives they live, when we sing our Christmas carols.
O little town of Bethlehem (alternative version)
O sad and troubled Bethlehem,
We hear your longing cry
For Peace and Justice to be born
And cruel oppression die.
How deep your need for that great gift
Of love in human form.
Let Christ in you be seen again
And hearts by hope made warm.
While morning stars and evening stars
Shine out in your dark sky,
Despair now stalks your troubled streets
Where innocents still die.
And Jesus, child of Mary,
Whose love will never cease,
Feels even now your pain and fear,
Longs with you for peace.
Amazingly and lovingly
Jesus, the child has come
And, brought to birth through human pain,
Makes broken hearts His home.
He comes to comfort all who weep,
To challenge every wrong
And, living with the weak and poor,
Becomes their hope and song.