For the clown from Aleppo, who blew balloons to stop the bomb that killed him in the end.
For the little boy on the Mediterranean Sea in that punctured rubber boat that gave him up to the waves of the deep.
For the exploited worker in Qatar, who creates temples of football over his broken back.
For the tramp who forgets to check in to the last remaining sleeping accommodation in Amsterdam, and who dies in the uncaring cold.
For them, a candle burns in the darkness of Christmas Eve.


For the Christian who voted for Donald Trump because of fear for unborn life.
For the Italian who voted against Renzi’s political reforms because of hatred of an European Moloch.
For the British voters who chose a European funeral out of anger over a lost Empire.
For the Dutch citizen who will vote for the Party for Freedom because he feels robbed of his short-term history by alternaring Zwarte Pieten and transsexuals.
For them, a candle burns in the darkness of Christmas Eve.

For the promising black youngster shot by a white police officer.
For the white officer who in vain tried to protect his city by shooting the wrong person.
For the Israeli secret agent who sabotaged Palestinian Katyusha rockets, and was blown to pieces by his own work.
For the Palestinian father who frantically threw rocks at Israeli policemen after the death of his son.
For them, a candle burns in the darkness of Christmas Eve.

For the terrified Christians in Egypt and Syria.
For the harassed veiled Muslim girls in the Netherlands.
For the bullied Jews of Amsterdam.
For Junaid Jamshed, the legendary Pakistani pop singer, whose name we had never heard before. For the football team of Chapecoense, whose name we could not even pronounce. Both killed in a random air crash.
For the restless elderly man who thinks his life is fulfilled.
For them, a candle burns in the darkness of Christmas Eve.

Nature has come to a halt. The longest night approaches. We live in the dead of winter. The world is frozen. And I’m not feeling very well either. Christians light candles in the run-up to and during Christmas. The light that shines in the darkest darkness and the severest cold. The same Christians proclaim their Christ as the King of Peace. And how this world is longing for it. Behold, a new light has risen over the gentiles. And how we long that this light will blaze up into unquenchable fires of peace and justice.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a peaceful 2017.

Bron: Christmas greeting Tilburg University (Nederlandse versie)