Will Santa make it into Aleppo?
The Christmas tree is up and glowing. The front of the house is incandescent with Christmas lights. The presents are bought and ready to be wrapped. (There’s no point doing that early and leaving them under the tree, because the Wonder Dog would wee on them.)
Meanwhile, in Syria, homes are being turned into rubble and families are being exterminated. I hear that Santa is calling Syria a “no-fly” zone this year. I don’t blame him.
I guess the best we can hope for is that a few ageing rockers will put out a single, similar to, Do they know it’s Christmas?. We’ll sing along and feel sad for a bit. Maybe some of us will donate money to the Red Cross or a similar organisation, in the hope that it will help alleviate some of the suffering.
I don’t think we’ll see world leaders linking arms and strolling through the streets of Aleppo, to show the world’s solidarity with the victims of the obscenity that is the conflict in Syria. After all, they’re not Europeans; they’re Middle Eastern. The majority are Muslim so, these days, it’s not politically correct to care what happens to them.
However, I believe that the message of Christmas is that God cares about all of us, not just the white, middle-class Europeans. What is more, he expects us to love everyone as well. The message of Christmas is that we live in a broken, damaged world, and we all need forgiveness and a change of heart.
So…I care, Syria. In my heart, I’m standing with you and your suffering people. Santa might not make it into Aleppo this year, but I pray that you will know, once more, days of peace, security and safety.
“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”