Peace Child

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune Name: FISCHER

Lyrics as Poetry

Peace Child,
in the sleep of the night,
in the dark before light
you come,
in the silence of stars,
in the violence of wars—
Saviour, your name.

Peace Child,
to the road and the storm,
to the gun and the bomb
you come,
through the hate and the hurt,
through the hunger and dirt—
bearing a dream.

Peace Child,
to our dark and our sleep,
to the conflict we reap,
now come—
be your dream born alive,
held in hope, wrapped in love:
God’s true shalom.

Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1992 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
from her book
“Every Day in Your Spirit” (#20):

“This is linked in my mind with the Gulf War and appeared as a poem in ‘In Every Corner Sing’.”
[In that book, she wrote the following comment.]
“I began thinking of this over the Christmas season, 1990. In the event, the Gulf War
had just begun as I finished it.”

Every Day in Your Spirit
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA

A Reflection by hymnwriter

There are holy moments. A child is carefully handed to me and I am gifted to receive this sacred trust – perhaps for just a few moments, perhaps for longer, perhaps for a lifetime.

The moment is charged with love, with trust, with hope. There is no place or space for cynicism or judgement. There is no price tag attached, no labels promising success or failure, no insurance policy couched in terms of exemptions and deductibles.

There is life, life precious and vulnerable.

This song, this Christmas Lullaby, blends the birth of the Christ Child and the birth of each child. To hold the Christ Child is to hold each child. To hold any child is to hold the Christ Child. To refuse a child our care is to turn away from the Christ Child.

“Whatever you have done to one considered least among my sisters and brothers, you have done to me,” said Jesus.

There are terrible things done to children every day. Some of what is done is calculated, deliberate, intended. For most, it is easy to be scandalized by such actions, easy to condemn the perpetrators for we are not numbered among them.

Other things done to children involve less calculation and intention. These appear to lack personal responsibility on our part. We can blame governments and corporations. Industrial pollution depriving communities of water that is safe to drink and failure to address long-standing inequalities in the provision of education, health services, community amenities and opportunities, probably fall into this category. Yet another concern has to be what we could call collective amnesia – a refusal to recognize, remember or address issues such as genocide, slavery, segregation, racial and other forms of prejudice and hatred, institutionalized injustice. The dark chapters of our histories – political, religious, social and economic are denied, down-played, excused, seen as sign of disloyalty or even sedition or treason.

Jesus is born into a real world — not an idealized tableau. He is born into a world of silent stars, but also into a world of violent wars, of subjugation and displaced peoples. He is born into worlds where there is hate and hurt, hunger and dirt. Yet his name is Saviour – Rescuer – Healer – Reconciler – Welcomer. He comes as Dreamer and Dream, Peacemaker, God’s true Shalom. He comes and, when welcomed, he empowers those who are prepared to make peace, to create well-being.

An ActivityGive thought to people who have cradled you (welcomed and nurtured you) and be thankful. Then, hold your arms up and open as if to receive a very small child. (Or create in your imagination such readiness to receive a child.). Think of some of those you have cradled in this way.

Then, imagine yourself receiving, one by one, many children – children of different appearances, different circumstances, different needs.

Imagine the Christ calling you by name and saying, “In each of these children you have received me. In any you will receive, you will receive me. Be blessed. Be a blessing.”

Audio Sample for "Peace Child"

One Verse
played on piano

Scripture References

  • Isaiah 9:6
  • Matthew 25:31-40
  • Luke 2:7
  • Luke 2:11
  • Luke 2:14
  • Luke 2:16-20
  • Luke 2:25-31
  • Luke 9:46-48
  • Luke 18:15-17
  • John 1:5

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Advent∶Themes∶ peace
  • Advent∶ Year 'A'∶ Advent 1
  • Christmas
  • Christmas Eve
  • Dream, Dreaming
  • Hope
  • Jesus∶ birth
  • Jesus∶ saviour
  • Peace
  • Shalom
  • Violence
  • War

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