Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" Christians, Materialism, and The Face of Christ

"Feed the world--Do they know it's Christmastime?"...Band Aid released the song written by Geldof and Ure to raise funds for those suffering from the Ethiopian famine in 1984.
 I was walking through a grocery store last week and heard it for the first time in a while; was filled with various emotions.

 [Lyrics: at bottom of post]
The poignancy i felt on aisle six was two fold.
One--the lyric, "Feed the World"  resonates with the most basic call of humanity; to take care of our fellow creatures, to alleviate suffering, and to connect with others in love and happiness. That each of us cares for others, when there is a need, ensures that all will be assisted. [like in a marriage, if each goes 100% to meet the needs of the other, both end up getting needs met, as my father once taught me...] 
more about famine HERE
When i was young and first comprehended human suffering on a large scale, i thought of how hard i would work if it was my sister "over there" or my very own mother! how i would  not have stopped until there was food in her hands. Think of your most loved person; if you were made aware that he or she was suffering from lack of food, water, medical care-how urgently would you work to help!    In my culture: my Catholic upbringing taught me that indeed, the little kid with flies in his eyes WAS in fact my little brother; that at the end-- when all was known-- i would find that indeed, that woman trying to help her starving children WAS my sister, my mother...
Hence the parable from Christ that helping those in need is in FACT helping Him (click HERE)  "..."Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me."   Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"
...the focus of a speech by Mother Teresa of Calcutta Given at the
National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC Thur, 3 Feb 1994.
So, number one, i gotta do better
at giving up mochas with fancy sea salt edging the smooth organic caramel
artfully lacing the fine foamy whipped cream on top.
(and Do the visiting birds really need vitamins dusting their sunflower seeds??) How many pairs of shoes might one have before guilt sets in...
on a larger scale--
when one ponders  the Sudan or the horror  of somalia, 
more HERE

 if one really focuses on the right-now reality of Congo,
or the
 daily lives of the oppressed everywhere,
it seems
that Christmas is not only the micro opportunity but
 the Macro-opportunity for all who make up the body of  Christianity, "organized" adn unorganized--and the leadership, to show what it looks like to walk the walk. That is, wouldn't it be a rush of the miraculous if the utterly hopeless on our Earth were flooded with love and hope and abundance at Christmas? That, no matter how hard times were here and there around the globe, a special effort was made at ChristMassTime to give good things and comfort and glad tidings to those most in need? That we are UNABLE to enjoy goodies and presents and boots and jewels (and food and water) unless everyone has a lil sumsin?
[what would it be like
to airlift millions of blankets
and food and medicine and pillows and
toys and just bomb a country with so much GOODS that there was too much even for stealing
which i think is how we could have Won in Afghanistan...]
 You have to think that the poorest, those suffering due to corruption or disaster or crushing poverty would have to look up and say, Now, what is this Christmas??
What engenders this kind of love? Why are you not keeping what you have, the survival of the fittest and all that, why bother to assist us weak ones by sacrificing
your self??
Why should not
 the strong and rich and powerful take and keep all they want, in a rolling soulless game of evolutionary gene-pass-along?
Like, isn't there some kind of non-interference clause somewhere?
I know that Catholic Relief Fund has been the most powerful charity
 in africa for a long time, particularly involved in AIDS,
and that many charities do a lot of good --but
 i think that if the populations at large wanted to, we could BLOW THE MINDS of everyone by Really making something huge happen.
 If all those who claim the label  Christian
really got serious, gathered together, gave it up--(because beyond that they are REQUIRED to,)
 if they felt Utterly Compelled to live as Mother Teresa did, for example, until all were comforted, now
That would be Christmas...
A Real Party!! More Christmas pictures HERE
Regarding the song, Do They Know It's Christmas?--Eventually, the British-American band Foreigner displaced the song at #1 in the UK with their rock ballad "I Want to Know What Love Is" at the beginning of 1985...
Wikipedia gives interesting information about the song: (HERE)
for example, "...
The world's media were in attendance as artists began arriving from 9am. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Culture Club (without Boy George, initially), George Michael of Wham!, Kool and the Gang, Sting, Bono and Adam Clayton of U2, Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 (whom Ure personally ordered down) and his bandmate Martyn Ware, Phil Collins of Genesis, Paul Weller of the Style Council, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo, Jody Watley of Shalamar, Bananarama, Marilyn (who was not invited but arrived anyway) and some of Geldof's bandmates from the Boomtown Rats all arrived. ...... The artists were put in a huge group and sang the 'Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time' refrain over and over again until it was completed.
Phil Collins arrived with his entire drum kit and waited until Ure was ready to record him over an electronic drum track that had already been put in place. The song ended up as a mixture of Collins' drums and an African rhythm that opens the song, taken from a sample of The Hurting by Tears for Fears.
Ure stated in his autobiography that he was constantly battling with Geldof, the song's lyricist but not renowned for his melody skills, and telling him to leave when he would come into the production booth and wrongly tell the artist behind the mic what to sing. Ure also had to shelve an attempt by the two members of Status Quo to record the "here's to you" harmonies because Parfitt could not hit the note. Rossi afterwards told Ure that Parfitt never sang in the studio, only onstage, and he should have kept him away from the mic. This section was eventually taken on by Weller, Sting and Gregory. However, Quo were able to contribute in other ways, according to the journalist Robin Eggar:[7]
"Once Status Quo produced their bag of cocaine and the booze started to flow – I brought six bottles of wine from my flat, which disappeared in a minute – it became a party."
Boy George arrived at 6:00 PM and went immediately into the recording booth to deliver his lines. He was rather vocal in his dislike of fellow singer George Michael, some of which is caught on video during the filming of the Band Aid collaboration. While recording harmonies, Boy George openly confused Michael's recorded vocals with the voice of "Alf" (British singer-songwriter Alison Moyet, who did not participate in the charity single). When the engineer correctly identified the voice as that of Michael, Boy George replied "God, he sounded camp. But then he is."
Once Boy George had finished his tracks, Ure had all the vocals he needed and, as the artists began to party and then drifted away, began working on the mix. A B-side, featuring messages from artists who had and hadn't made the recording (including David Bowie, Paul McCartney, all members of Big Country and Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood) was also recorded over the same backing track. Trevor Horn arrived back to his own studio to put this together.

According to Wikipedia, "  
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 29 November 1984.[1]
In October 1984, a BBC report by Michael Buerk was aired in the UK, which highlighted the famine that had hit the people of Ethiopia. Irish singer Bob Geldof saw the report and wanted to raise money.[2] He called Midge Ure from Ultravox and together they quickly co-wrote the song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?".[1]
Geldof kept a November appointment with BBC Radio 1 DJ Richard Skinner to appear on his show, but instead of discussing his new album (the original reason for his booking), he used his airtime to publicise the idea for the charity single, so by the time the musicians were recruited there was intense media interest in the subject. Geldof put together a group called Band Aid, consisting of leading British and Irish musicians who were among the most popular of the era.[3][4] On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released four days later.[3][5] 
The 1984 original became the biggest selling single in UK Singles Chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at Number 1 for five weeks, becoming Christmas number one, and sold more than 3.5 million copies domestically.[6] It remained the highest selling single in UK chart history until 1997, when Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" was released in tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, which sold almost 5 million copies in Britain.[6]

many versions are viewable at Youtube.
It's Christmas time
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmas time
We let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmas time it's hard
But when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you
And there won't be snow in Africa
This Christmas time
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

(Here's to you) raise a glass for everyone
(Here's to them) underneath that burning sun
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
Feed the world  
Feed the world
  Feed the world
  Let them know it's Christmas time

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time again

Christmas Blessing from Joyce Rupp click HERE

Nativity scenes HERE

Feed the World.

The Face of Christ

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