Faith Matters

Christmas Reflection: Do they know it's Christmas?

Bob Geldof performing at the Live Aid Concert at Wembley in 1985. Band Aid topped the charts with Do They Know It's Christmas?
Archbishop Eamon Martin

IN December 1984 Bob Geldof's charity supergroup, Band Aid, topped the charts singing, "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"

It's a perennial question. Year after year, as Christmas approaches, I think of those who probably shudder when hearing carols like Joy to the World, Ding Dong Merrily on High or Silent Night.

Millions of people around the world today are still struggling to recover from the raging wildfires and devastating floods of last summer; countless others - from Yemen to the Horn of Africa - teeter on the edge of humanitarian catastrophe. Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

But every time we reach out in an act of love - to embrace the grieving families of Creeslough; to warmly welcome refugees from Kharkiv; to drop off items to the local food bank; or simply call on a vulnerable neighbour - we make Christmas truly present.

We bring to life the Christ child who lay on the wood of the manger and was to die for our salvation on the wood of a cross.

Archbishop Eamon Martin

Archbishop of Armagh

and Primate of All Ireland