Pastor Julie Rowe served with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land from 2004 to 2008 and watched the walls and settlements grow and encircle Bethlehem and other Palestinian towns and lands. She wrote this for those who sing the traditional carol to make them aware of the current reality and hopefully stir up some conscience to do something to free the town of the One who freed us. Learn more at www.elca.org/peacenotwalls
The Little Town of Bethlehemby the Rev. Julie Rowe
From the little town of Bethlehem we sing to you tonight;
Our streets are clear, there’s no one here, who sees our daily plight;
Once here was born a savior, but now we’re all enslaved;
By razor wire and walls and towers, now when will we be saved?
The little town of Bethlehem gets smaller every day;
They take our land, some have it planned to make us fade away;
The settlements keep growing, they’re bigger every day.
We’ve not much left from all the theft, so soon they’ll have their way.
The little town of Bethlehem is trapped by walls of stone
By razor wire and giant towers we’re left here all alone;
Tonight as you sing carols of peace on earth to all
Think of us all behind the wall that dwarfs the manger stall.
O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray,
Break down our walls and hear our calls, bring just peace here to stay;
We hear the Christmas angels, their great glad tidings tell:
Live in your land, there’s peace at hand, from God Immanuel!